We just LOVE this basic recipe from the greatest... Julia Child. However, we do not BAKE this at all... we simply cover/simmer on the stovetop for 20 mins. I used this recipe for an in-store demo of chicken boullion cubes (which you can substitute for the chicken stock!), and people were asking me for the recipe over and over again! I must have given this recipe out to at least 20 people in one afternoon, and everyone RAVED about it. I even had customers call over other customers and family members just to taste the rice! Needless to say, I sold a LOT of boullion cubes that day!
I made a double recipe for a potluck dinner. The cooking time were longer due to the increased quantity no doubt. The result was rich, creamy, and delicious. It was best when it was first completed just out of the oven. By the time I got it to the potluck, it was not as creamy a more liquid was absorbed. It still tasted very good even when lukewarm from sitting out, but it was at it's prime hot when the butter was all melted. <br/><br/>Here are the changes I made: <br/><br/>I doubled the recipe. This made it take longer to prepare due to cooking times. <br/><br/>I used onion that were diced already from the grocery store. They were a small dice but I would have diced them smaller if I had diced them myself. Still, I don't think it made a difference. <br/><br/>I boiled some chicken leg in a little bit more water than the recipe called for and added chicken boullion powder in that, but I made it a little weaker than you'd normally make it because the chicken would add flavor and because I didn't want it to be too salty.<br/><br/>I used salted butter. The recipe does not specify salted or unsalted. <br/><br/>Because I'd run out of bay leaves, I used Herbs de Provence dried organic herb mixture instead of the separate herb. This included the called for herbs plus lavender and maybe something else. I wondered if the lavender would tasted funny to some people, but I didn't notice it in the finished product. <br/><br/>I added a little salt and pepper as specified, to taste, not too salty. <br/><br/>I used a heavy nonstick skillet to cook the onions, rice and butter. That took longer than expected because I had doubled the recipe. I added one third of the broth to that to essentially rinse the pan and then dumped that into a large Corelle baking dish. I then added the herbs, salt and pepper, mixed and then added the rest of the broth, measured carefully. I put the glass lid on and set the whole thing on a shallow baking pan to catch overflow since the dish was very full. This proved wise as it slightly spilled as I put it in the preheated oven, but it didn't boil over. The baking part also look longer than anticipated due to the doubling of the recipe. It came out of the oven very slightly wet which was perfect for scooping onto plate into a steaming mound. After sitting in the dish for a drive and then on a banquet table, the butter was not so melted and the rice absorbed or lost a little moisture but was still very good. I think it is best hot and this is a good recipe for cool weather. I served it on a super hot day because I wanted to make something French that was also inexpensive. <br/><br/>I have a few leftovers because I arrived late at the potluck and everyone had a full plate and didn't want anything hot due to the hot day. I plan to use this to make a quick stir fry tomorrow with some of the chicken and some thinly sliced fresh broccoli and mushrooms. This would also be good with shredded green cabbage as a side dish or with cabbage and eggs as a main dish. Try this with a coursely chopped green tomatoes and a generous sprinkle of of shredded cheese for a fast, steaming meal. <br/><br/>In summary, this rice recipe takes more time and adds more fat compared to throwing rice in the rice cooker, but it's absolutely delicious and worth the effort. If you want to healthy it up, substitute olive oil for some or all of the butter, watch your salt, and add veggies or sprinkle with black sesame seeds. <br/><br/>As is, it would be a wonderful for a big holiday meal, especially for those who cannot or do not eat gluten containing products. In that case, be careful not to use boullion that contains hidden gluten. You could just boil some chicken legs or even chicken bones or trimmings with a few veggie scraps from the produce drawer--onion trimmings, a carrot, a celery stalk--and then add a little salt and use that instead of boullion. You don't have to go through the lengthy process of making chicken stock "properly" with all the pouring it through cheesecloth and so on for it to be delicious. <br/><br/>All in all, having never made risotto before, I found this recipe easy, cheap, delicious and flexible. Although I baked it, with a different pan on hand, I would have no problem just cooking this all on the stove. You might also be able to microwave it instead of baking it to save energy and keep the kitchen cool.