A couple weekends ago we celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary and had an amazing meal from an Italian restaurant in Milton, Ontario. I had the mushroom risotto and it was so good, I had to make it for myself the following weekend! This isn't the quickest meal so definitely save it for a night you have more time. It does reheat, but I think it's best enjoyed immediately after cooking.
This is a multi-step meal that does require some attention to timing. I recommend reading through the recipe so you have an idea of what needs to be done (and when), and then prepping as much as you can ahead of time, so you aren't scrambling to get it all done.
Lemon Oregano Chicken and Asparagus
Preheat oven to 425F. You'll need two racks in the oven for this recipe, and I would avoid the bottom rack. Line 2 baking sheets with foil and spray with a cooking spray. (You'll definitely want the cooking spray so that the lemon slices and the chicken don't stick to the foil once they're roasted!)
Ingredients - Chicken and Asparagus
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in half widthwise (you could also use 4 chicken thighs instead)
2 tbsp olive oil
oregano (about 1½ tsp of dried, or 1-2 tbsp fresh)
1½ tsp kosher salt, divided
1 generous tsp garlic powder
asparagus (washed and woody parts removed)
Cut one lemon into ¼-inch thick slices and set aside. Zest the other lemon, then cut in half and juice.
Place the chicken and asparagus into a large bowl and add the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, 1 tsp of the salt, and garlic powder. Toss well to make sure everything is well coated. Along with the lemon slices, spread out the chicken and asparagus over both baking sheets without crowding.
Roast in the oven for 15 minutes before taking out to flip asparagus. Switch the baking sheets from rack to rack and continue to roast for another 10-15 minutes, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining ½ tsp salt and some lemon rind. You could also add some extra oregano here, if you'd like. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into ½-inch thick slices.
Ingredients - Mushroom Risotto
6 cups broth (I used chicken, but vegetable would work just as well!)
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2-3 portobello mushrooms, washed well and thinly sliced
½ pound white mushrooms, washed well and thinly sliced
2 medium shallots, finely diced
1½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine (or an additional ½ cup of broth)
4 tbsp butter
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Warm your broth in a medium sized sauce pan over medium-low heat. *This could be done while you're pre-heating your oven for the chicken.
Once all of your ingredients have been prepped, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add both types of mushrooms, cooking until soft. Stir occasionally. Place cooked mushrooms and any remaining liquid from cooking into a smaller bowl and set aside.
Add remaining tbsp oil to the large pan. Stir in shallots and cook for about a minute before adding the rice. Stir to coat the remaining rice with oil. The rice can get a little golden, but don't let it burn. *Time check: the chicken and asparagus should be in the oven at this point.
Pour in the wine (or ½ cup of broth), stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add ½ cup warm broth to the rice, stirring until the broth is absorbed.
Continue adding broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. The rice is done when it feels tender, but firm to bite. I found this took about 20-25 minutes.
Once rice is cooked and no liquid remains, remove the pan from heat. Stir in reserved mushrooms and their liquid, butter, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, top risotto with roasted asparagus and sliced chicken. I added a sprinkle of lemon rind to brighten the risotto, as well.