This oven baked chicken and mushroom risotto is about to become your new favourite homemade dinner. Filled with simple ingredients, this method of cooking risotto is so much easier than the traditional version as it is mostly hands off meaning more time to sit back and relax.
Risotto is one of those meals that is so comforting and delicious but can be a pain to cook. There is all the standing in front of the stove and constantly stirring and monitoring it to make sure you end up with the perfect consistency. It is a process that feels quite laboursome and prone to error which ultimately means that I just don’t have risotto at home.
That was until I learnt the oven baked method which has been somewhat of a game changer in our household. So much so that we have been eating this risotto every single week for the past few months!
In our house we share the cooking and both my husband and I have quite different cooking styles which I think works to provide us with a lot of variety in the meals that we eat. This recipe is one that he gets the credit for. It came out of the need for a comforting meal and a well intentioned packet of arborio rice in the cupboard and has evolved into what we have today.
It got to the point where we were eating this so much that I really felt an obligation to share it here, if for no other reason than to document the process if we happen to move onto something else and forget how to make it! I also wanted to share that making risotto at home can be super easy and with minimal stirring.
How to make oven baked risotto
There is a bit of prep work with this risotto but by the time you are sitting down to enjoy a bowl you will realise that it was totally worth it. I’ve included a few step by step photos of the hands on bits to help guide you through what to expect.
The first step is really to prep everything. Grab your shallots, remove the skins and roughly chop, peel the garlic as well and either finely chop or just press with a garlic crusher. If you don’t have one already, I highly recommend this one – it really is every bit as good as the reviews and the best garlic crusher I’ve owned (and I’ve tried a few).
Once that’s done, slice up your mushrooms (or just purchase pre-sliced, we’re no stranger to convenience), and chop up your chicken into roughly 2 inch pieces. This is a rustic style dish so don’t fuss around with making everything perfect, just chop it up and move on.
Now it’s time to start cooking. The pan you use here is going to be really important. You want a pan that can handle the stove but also the oven and preferably it will have a lid. Ideally you would use a casserole style dutch oven but the best is what you have, so for us it’s a large 30 cm cast iron skillet. Unfortunately ours does not have a lid, so we cover the top with aluminium foil and it works perfectly fine.
Place the pan on the stove and heat the oil. Brown the chicken, in batches if you need to depending on the size of the pan as not to overcrowd it. Once the chicken is sealed and brown, remove it from the pan and set aside. It does not need to be cooked all the way through, just browned as it will finish cooking in the oven.
Next cook down your mushrooms with the butter (dairy-free is what I use) until they have reduced by about half and are brown. Remove from the pan and again set them aside.
Finally, add more oil to the pan and saute the shallots and garlic until soft and fragrant. You want to use a wooden spoon here to push down on the shallot pieces so that they break apart as they soften. Once they are cooked down, add in the rice and mix through for a couple of minutes until it is shiny.
Next up add in the liquids and bring to a boil before adding back in the chicken and mushrooms and stirring to make sure that the chicken has been submerged in the liquid. I don’t have a photo of this step because the pan we use was quite full and I did not want to risk spilling, but I am sure you get the idea. Cover the pan (with a lid, with foil, with whatever is available to you, just make sure it is sealed) and carefully place in the oven to finish cooking. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 180°C until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
Finish off the risotto with some good quality freshly grated parmesan cheese, a decent squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of parsley.
Yes! While personally in our house it’s a non-negotiable due to the delicious flavour that it adds to this dish if you’d prefer to leave it out or need an alcohol free option, simply just replace it with extra chicken stock and some extra lemon juice for that acidity.
What is the best pan to use?
I highly recommend using a large cast iron pan that can move from your stove top to the oven. Cast iron is perfect as the heavy bottom ensures the risotto cooks evenly and the heat is distributed so that the rice cooks evenly. Also things cooked in cast iron just taste better!
The pan we use is actually this 30cm diameter one piece wrought iron pan made in Australia by Solidteknics which is perfect for this job.
Does risotto need to be served immediately?
The best thing about this risotto is that no, it doesn’t need to be served immediately. While it certainly is delicious served up straight away, it also reheats wonderfully making this one of my favourite things to make for meal prep. I like to enjoy it once as a cozy dinner and then the rest for lunches throughout the week.
You can also keep freshly baked risotto warm covered in the oven while turned off for up to an hour before serving.
Can you freeze oven baked risotto?
Yes! Let cool and place into containers and freeze for up to 1 month. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge or heat straight from frozen. When reheating rice and chicken, make sure that it is steaming and never heat up and then cool down again – only reheat the one time.
Once you have made this oven baked chicken and mushroom risotto you will be convinced that there is no reason to make it that traditional way again!
Oh and also a quick public service announcement. If you are using a pan that is usually used for the stove top (like a large cast iron skillet), just be extra careful when you pull it out of the oven and turn away. When you turn back it is highly likely that you will grab the handle, completely forgetting that it has just been removed from a very hot oven and you will get burnt and it will hurt. A lot.
But don’t let that thought stop you!
Please share any creations on Instagram using the tag #eightforestlane as we would love to see what you’re making!
More Chicken Recipes:
Oven Baked Chicken and Mushroom Risotto
- 2 tablespoon canola oil divided
- 500 grams chicken thighs roughly chopped into 2 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter dairy-free if desired
- 300 grams mushrooms sliced
- 8 – 10 shallots peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup dry white wine
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese optional
- lemon wedge for serving
- fresh parsley for serving
- Place a large oven-safe cast iron pan on the stove and heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the chicken and brown in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Once the chicken is brown (not cooked through), remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the butter and sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook down until browned and reduced by about half the size. Remove and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil to the pan and add in the chopped shallots and garlic. Use a wooden spoon to ensure the shallots and garlic do not stick to the bottom of the pan. As they start to brown use the wooden spoon to break apart the shallots as they soften.
- Once the shallots have softened, add in the arborio rice and stir through for a couple of minutes until shiny.
- Add in the stock and white wine, stir through and bring to the boil. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Once boiling, add the chicken and mushroom back into the pan and stir to combine, ensuring that the chicken is completely submerged.
- Cover and place into the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until there is no liquid remaining and the rice is soft and tender.
- Stir through the parmesan cheese if using and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a generous squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.