Sage-roasted chicken and pumpkin risotto recipe

By Rebecca Farwell
Published November 16, 2010 1:20AM (EST)

Serves 4


  • 2 chicken breast halves, bone in and skin on
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1¼ cups diced (¼-inch), peeled, seeded fresh pumpkin (preferably from a Sugar Pumpkin)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped shallots
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken/pumpkin broth (see below)
  • 3 sprigs fresh sage, plus more for garnish
  • 8 ounces Arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 ounce grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/3 cup)
  • sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


For Chicken

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the softened butter and chopped sage. Rub the butter mixture all over the chicken breasts (including underneath the breastbone and under the skin).
  3. Pan sear chicken, skin-side down in bacon fat in a skillet, until deeply browned. Flip and move the pan to the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the temperature is 160 degrees at the thickest part of the breasts. Remove from the pan, lightly cover with aluminum foil and let rest until cool enough to cut into bite-size pieces. Set aside the cut-up chicken breast. You will have some left over after making the risotto.

For Risotto

  1. Make chicken/pumpkin stock by boiling leftover pumpkin rind and pieces in chicken stock until the stock is well infused with pumpkin flavor and color. Strain stock. Roast diced pumpkin in the chicken roasting skillet, adding in some more bacon fat if you have it. Pumpkin should be tossed occasionally and pulled out when soft on the inside but slightly roasty/crunchy on the outside.
  2. Bring chicken/pumpkin stock to a boil in a medium saucepan and keep at a low simmer. Cook shallots in olive oil in a heavy risotto pan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add fresh chopped sage and cook for about 1 minute more. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add one cup white wine, and cook at a strong simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Continue simmering, adding chicken/pumpkin broth a half-cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is tender and creamy-looking but still al dente, about 15 minutes total.  You should have about one-half cup of broth left.
  3. Add in the cooked pumpkin, cooked chicken breast (I added about one cup), chopped fresh sage (to taste). Add another half-cup of broth and stir constantly until almost all is absorbed. Add butter and grated Parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Taste for seasonings.
  4. Serve immediately and garnish with fresh sage sprigs.

Rebecca Farwell

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