Chicken & Farro Risotto

This was another item on my marathon weekend cooking agenda. It is an old favorite that has evolved over time – and it is still as tasty as ever!

I originally found this recipe many years ago in Cooking Light. I made it as directed many times, then I started replacing the barley with farro. Now – don’t get me wrong – barley is tasty. But over the years, I have started using farro in risotto recipes, and I think they come out a bit creamier – a little bit closer to a rice-based risotto. But, feel free to use the barley if you’d like – it will still be delicious!

Chicken and farro risotto - done closeup 2

Chicken & Farro Risotto
Adapted From Cooking Light, Jan 1996 (Originally Barley Risotto with Julienne Chicken and Parmesan)
Serves 9

1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup diced carrot
1 thyme sprig
3/4 cup diced celery
3/4 cup thinly sliced leek
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 3/4 cups uncooked pearled farro (about 12 ounces) (or sub pearled barley)
6 cups fat-free chicken broth
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add carrot and thyme; sauté 1 minute. Add celery, leek, and onion; sauté 1 minute. Add salt, pepper, and chicken; sauté 5 minutes. Add barley; sauté 1 minute.

Add broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes. Remove from heat; discard thyme sprig. Stir in parsley and cheese.

Nutritional information (using farro):
Calories: 267.4
Total Fat: 4.1 g
Cholesterol 45.2 mg
Sodium 309.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 29.1 g
Dietary Fiber 3.2 g
Protein 25.9 g

Nutritional information (using barley):
Calories 264.7
Total Fat 3.3 g
Cholesterol 45.2 mg
Sodium 301.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 33.3 g
Dietary Fiber 6.3 g
Protein 23.7 g


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