Garlic and Thyme Chicken with Asparagus and Beetroot Risotto
Cooking: 1 hour, 30 minutes
I'm not a super huge fan of risotto. I can't really even explain why, maybe it’s the texture of porridgey rice. That said, as soon as you substitute the rice for nutty barley I cannot get enough of it. Barley keeps its integrity and doesn’t turn to mush, and the flavor is subtle and interesting.
Barley is a power packed grain whose nutritional benefits are plenty. It is super high in fibre, vitamins and minerals but is very low glycemic index, which makes it a super grain.
Add beetroot and asparagus, which are both abundant with nutrients and you have a treat for your insides as well as your taste buds.
- 2 Steggles chicken breasts, halved breadth ways to make four thin fillets
- 60 ml olive oil
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper
Ingredients: Barley Risotto
- 1½ bunches spring onions, whites and mid-greens chopped finely
- 1 large beetroot
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 60g butter
- olive oil
- 1 cup barley
- ½ cup parmesan, grated
- 2 tablespoons vegetable stock powder
- ½ cup white wine
Ingredients: to serve
- Chopped parsley
- Shaved Parmesan
- Lemon wedges
- Rub chicken with thyme, garlic, oil and season well. Marinate the chicken for about an hour.
- Wrap beetroot in foil and roast in the oven on 180C for about 40 minutes until just tender. Put aside, and open foil to allow to cool. When cool peel and chop into 1cm cubes.
- Place 1 litre of water in a pot on the stove on a medium heat. Chop the woody bottoms off the asparagus and toss them into the water. Cook until the asparagus is soft, but still vibrantly green. Add stock powder.
- Remove from heat and blend until a smooth stock is formed.
- Chop remaining asparagus on the diagonal leaving the tips a little larger so they look pretty and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy based pan with half of the butter, add spring onions and cook until very tender – about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the barley and stir to coat with the mixture before adding the wine.
- Using only a cup at a time, add stock to the pan, stirring very regularly, allowing each cup to absorb in between. Continue stirring and adding stock for 25-30 minutes until barley is tender but still has a little crunch.
- Toss in asparagus stems and beetroot, and continue adding stock and allowing to absorb for a further 10 minutes, before finally adding asparagus tips.
- Cook for a further minute, adding stock, until asparagus is just tender, and barley is only slightly al dente.
- Add grated cheese and remaining butter, and season well.
- Cook chicken fillets on a high bbq or griddle pan for 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Remove from heat and rest while you serve risotto before slicing.
- Divide barley risotto between four bowls, and top with sliced chicken. Add a squeeze of lemon, and garnish with shaved parmesan and a handful or parsley.
Recipe developed and prepared by Danielle Colley from one of Australia’s favourite food and family blogs, Keeping Up With The Holsbys.