We love risotto, but not necessarily the time spent stirring it over the stove while it cooks. We've come up with the next best thing with this creamy Parmesan rice. We serve it next to a tender chicken breast with a crispy breadcrumb topping and roasted asparagus for a meal that's stunningly simple to prepare and even simpler to enjoy.
Bring a small pot with 1 ½ cups water and rice to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender and water has been absorbed, 17-20 minutes. While rice cooks, prepare ingredients.
Prepare the Ingredients
Mince garlic. Trim woody ends off asparagus. In a small bowl, combine Italian breadcrumbs, ¼ tsp. salt, a pinch of pepper, and 2 tsp. olive oil. Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry, and season both sides with ½ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper.
Sear the Chicken
Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken in hot pan and cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to one half of prepared baking sheet. Chicken will finish cooking in a later step. Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.
Finish Chicken and Cook Asparagus
Place asparagus on other half of prepared baking sheet. Toss with 1 tsp. olive oil and season with ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Crust tops of chicken breasts with breadcrumb mixture. Use the palm of your hand to firmly press breadcrumb mixture onto chicken. Bake until chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees and asparagus is tender, 7-10 minutes. While chicken cooks, make sauce.
Make the Sauce
Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in pan used to sear chicken over medium heat. Add garlic to hot pan and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add cream and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 4-5 minutes. Stir in half the Parmesan (reserve remaining for garnish). Remove from burner and season with ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper. Carefully stir cooked rice into pan until rice is completely coated in sauce.
Plate the Dish
Place rice on plate and garnish with remaining Parmesan. Serve asparagus and chicken next to rice.