Roasted Chicken and Barley Risotto

  • Preparation Time20 mins
  • Cooking Time5 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyMedium

For the chicken

1 whole organic chicken
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 lemon, halved
1 yellow onion, quartered
4 sprigs fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh oregano
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

For the barley risotto

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 cup robust red wine
2 cups San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
1 cup organic chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup pearl barley
Sea salt
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for the barley water
3/4 cup smoked Gouda cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
Freshly cracked black pepper

To make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 220°C. Remove the gizzards and place the chicken in a roasting pan. Stuff the cavity with the garlic, lemons, onions, parsley, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Slide your hands under the skin to separate it from the meat. Insert pats of butter underneath to make the skin crispy. Top with the olive oil, paprika, salt and some cracked pepper and massage into the skin. Roast until the juices run clear when pierced between the thigh and breast, for 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes (depending on the size of the bird). Tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Shred the meat and reserve.

To make the barley risotto: In a large pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, jalapeno and paprika and saute until the shallots are crispy, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, stir and reduce for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, chicken stock, parsley, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium-low. Let simmer about 40 minutes.

To a medium saucepan, add the barley, 2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat immediately and let simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Once the barley is done, fluff it with a fork.

To finish the risotto: To the tomato sauce, add the Gouda, currants, sugar and some salt and pepper, and mix. Add the cooked barley and mix again. Add the shredded chicken breast and mix well so that the meat comes apart. Ladle some risotto into a bowl, top with a chicken thigh or leg and enjoy.

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