Lemon Chicken Thighs with Risotto

chicken ris.jpg

After an e x t r e m e l y long month of January (it was beginning to feel 3 months long) I was skipping into February with a smile on my face. It’s been a hard balance to not wish away the months of pregnancy and preparation for baby when all I want is to hold this precious miracle. And now we are nearly ten days into February and baby boy will be here in just three months, pending if he wants to arrive on his due date or not!!!

My food journey throughout this pregnancy has been an interesting one to say the least. I always thought being pregnant would give me drive to be healthy unlike ever before, but boy was a wrong. You won’t ever hear me judging you if you need to wake up at 2 in the morning to eat a cheese stick and cereal. My love for comfort foods has blossomed into a need for some old staples with a new twist. Which brings us to this recipe. Get ready…

I can’t remember the last time I made a recipe, ate it, then went straight to the computer to write it down. This recipe should inspire you to walk, no run, to your nearest grocery store to purchase these ingredients so you can enjoy this for dinner tonight. This risotto is so full of flavor and richness, you won’t believe its dairy free. I think this may be the best risotto I’ve ever tasted, and I just want everyone I know and love to try it. Chicken thighs are the chicken rejects that should be given more attention than they do. I think choosing chicken thighs with bone and skin is a must for this recipe. The skin just traps the moisture into the chicken and it becomes so tender and full of flavor. Letting the skin crisp up in the oven for a final broil makes for a delicious crust.
This recipe takes a little bit of love and time, but it will taste like you’ve been slaving away all day, when really it only takes an hour or so. I suggest prepping everything first before you start cooking since it all moves pretty quickly in the beginning to ensure everything comes out.
Promise me you’ll let me know if you make it! And invite a friend over so you can enjoy a good meal with friends, the best way to dine!

Chicken
1 1/2-2 lbs. chicken thighs (bone in, skin on)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Risotto
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 gloves garlic, minced
1 onion finely chopped
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup milk ( I used unsweetened coconut milk)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Additional: fresh lemon juice, fresh chopped parsley, lemon zest

Directions:
1. Prepare the chicken by mixing the lemon zest, pepper, salt, and dried basil into a small bowl.
2. Rub the seasoning all over the chicken with your fingers. Be sure to get under the skin.
3. In a large dutch oven or oven safe pan, heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil on high heat. Let the dutch oven heat up for 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium high. Add the chicken to the dutch oven skin side down. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Flip chicken and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Flip a final time and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Remove chicken from dutch oven. Wipe out dutch oven to remove any excess oil.
5. Add coconut oil to the dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes.
6. Add arborio rice to the dutch oven and stir constantly for 2 minutes or until the rice turns translucent.
7. Add the wine, stirring constantly until the wine is mostly evaporated.
8. Add milk, chicken broth, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer (about 2-3 minutes) stirring once at the beginning.
9. Return the chicken back to the dutch oven and cover. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. After 20 minutes, Place covered dutch oven into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove cover and cook for additional 5 minutes. Broil on high for 5 minutes.
11. Plate each serving with fresh parsley, a squeeze of a lemon, and lemon zest. Serve and enjoy!

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