Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Cooking for one: chicken and mushroom pearl barley risotto

I bought a bag of pearl barley to make some barley flour for pancakes (see what I did here).  Now I have to use it up so I am searching for ideas.  Here's what I made yesterday.

Ingredients to make one portion for a very hungry person
1/2 tbsp olive oil
half a leek, trimmed and finely sliced
a squidge of garlic puree
75g pearl barley
60 mls white wine (or just use more water/stock)
300 mls hot chicken stock.  Fresh/real would be wonderful or use Knorr chicken stock granules which are low salt.
some leftover bits of chicken after having a roast chicken or 1 chicken thigh, chopped and fried in a little oil
65 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced.  Chestnut have a better taste and hold their shape but they are more expensive so ordinary ones would do.
10 mls low fat creme fraiche (says the original recipe that I have adapted - I reckoned some soft cheese would be fine and it was!
some dried herbs such as parsley and tarragon.  Fresh would be better but I wouldn't buy them specially!
a little lemon zest
a little grated Parmesan (say about 7 g) or frugal alternative
Bit of seasoning if wanted

Heat half the olive oil in a pan, add the leeks and garlic and cook for 2-3 mins until the leeks have softened.  Add the barley, stir and cook for 2 mins, the pour in the wine (or a bit of the stock).

When the wine has been absorbed, add just over half of the chicken stock and allow to simmer gently for 40 mins or so until the pearl barley is tender.  Add more stock if necessary.

Add the mushrooms, stir gently and cook for another five minutes or so.  Add more stock, if necessary.  If using dried herbs, add these too

Stir in the chicken, creme fraiche and any fresh herbs you are using.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.  Reheat, if necessary.

Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with lemon zest, black pepper and Parmesan.  Serve immediately.

Look up how to make a risotto in a thermomix and do it the easy way!

It was absolutely delicious!

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