Almost Hands-Free Risotto with Chicken and Herbs

adapted from: America's Test Kitchen

5 c. low-sodium chicken broth

2 c. water 

1 Tbl. olive oil

2 (12 oz.) bone in, skin-on chicken breasts,

    cut in half crosswise

4 Tbl. unsalted butter

1 large onion, minced (about 1 1/2 cups)


1 large garlic clove, minced

2 c. Arborio rice

1 c. dry white wine (I used chicken broth)

1 c. Parmesan cheese, grated

2 Tbl. fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbl. fresh chives, chopped (I didn't add)

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (I didn't add)


1.  Bring the broth and water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer.  

2.  Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until just starting to smoke.  Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook without moving until golden brown, 4-6 minutes.  Flip the chicken and cook the second side until lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to the saucepan of simmering broth and water and cook until the chicken registers 160-165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 10-15 minutes.  Transfer to a large plate.    

3.  Add 2 Tbl. butter to Dutch oven and cook over medium heat.  When the butter has melted, add the onion and 3/4 tsp. salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened but not browned, 4-7 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the rice and cook, stirring frequently, until the grains are translucent around the edges, about 3 minutes.  

4.  Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until fully absorbed, 2-3 minutes.  Stir 5 cups of the hot broth mixture into the rice.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until almost all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just al dente, 16-19 minutes, stirring twice during cooking.  

5.  Add 3/4 cup more hot broth mixture, and stir gently and constantly until the risotto becomes creamy, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the Parmesan.  Remove the pot from the heat, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes.

6.  Meanwhile, remove and discard the skin and bones from the chicken and shred the meat into bite-size pieces.  Gently stir the shredded chicken, the remaining 2 Tbl. butter, and the parsley, chives, and lemon juice into the risotto.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  If desired, add up to 1/2 cup remaining broth mixture to loosen the texture of the risotto.  Serve.