Mushroom-Barley Risotto is a warm and comforting meal, full of rich mushroom flavor. Of course, it’s not really a risotto, just cooked risotto style. Pearl Barley cooks up almost as creamy as risotto does, but with a more pronounced flavor that is nutty in nature and a chewier texture. It pairs wonderfully with mushrooms, which is a good thing because this dish is loaded with mushrooms. I used porcini, shitake, cremini, and oyster mushrooms.
Pearl Barley is a high-fiber, high-protein grain. The soluble fiber contained in barley is thought to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and its insoluble fiber is believed to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes and colon cancer. Sounds like a good addition to the dinner table doesn’t it?
Soups are probably the most common way to utilize barley, but I love it cooked risotto style and it’s also wonderful served as a breakfast cereal when cooked with steel-cut oats.
Mushroom Barley Risotto
- 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/4 cups pearl barley
- 3/4 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- One 4-ounce package fresh wild mushroom assortment, chopped
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides and almost cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan and saute onion until softened and beginning to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook one more minute. Pour sherry into pan and deglaze the bottom with a wooden spoon.
- Add chicken broth, barley, dried porcini, and soy sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 40 to 45 minutes. Add chicken to Dutch oven for last 2 minutes of cooking.
- While barley is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add fresh mushrooms and saute until browned.
- Once barley is cooked, stir Parmesan cheese and sautéed mushrooms into barley mixture and top with parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Yield: 4 servings
Recipe Source: adapted from The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life
Disclosure: Fort Mill SC Living is an amazon.com affiliate.