Chicken and Barley Risotto

Serves 4
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time about 1 hour 10 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200 g (7 oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced
250 g (8 oz) pearl barley
200 ml (7 fl oz) red wine
1.2 litres (2 pints) chicken stock
salt and pepper
parsley leaves, to garnish
Parmesan cheese shavings, to serve

Chicken and Barley Risotto
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, add the chicken and
onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring until lightly browned.

Stir in the garlic and mushrooms and fry for 2 minutes, then mix in the pearl
barley. Add the red wine, half the stock and season with plenty of salt and
pepper, then bring to the boil, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat, cover and
simmer for 1 hour, topping up with extra stock as needed, until the chicken is
cooked through and the barley is soft.

Spoon into shallow bowls and garnish with the parsley and sprinkle with
Parmesan. Serve with garlic bread and salad, if liked.

For chicken & red rice risotto, fry the chicken and 1 chopped red onion as
above. Add the garlic and 200 g (7 oz) skinned and diced tomatoes, omitting the
mushrooms and pearl barley. Stir in 250 g (8 oz) red Camargue rice, cook for 1
minute, then add the red wine. Gradually add the hot stock a small ladleful at a
time and stirring constantly, only adding more once the rice has absorbed the
previous ladleful. Continue until all the liquid has been absorbed and the chickenĀ and rice are tender. This should take about 25 minutes. Crumble 125 g (4 oz) St
Agur or Roquefort cheese on top.

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