Thursday, 1 May 2014

Sluttishly Savoury: Wild Garlic, Chicken and Farro Risotto


I stumbled across a patch of something green and garlicky in the woods over Easter. Ello, ello, what had we here then? It was only a big, leafy patch of wild garlic which grows in woods all over the UK.

Wild garlic is a slut's dream. It's like spinach and garlic in one, which means you don't have to waste time chopping up actual garlic cloves. It's perfect for pasta and risotto, and the risotto I eventually concocted with leftover roast chicken and farro is too good not to share.

Farro is an Italian wheat grain that is pretty much the same thing as spelt. It's nutty and tastes like a combination between brown rice and pearl barley. You can get it in most supermarkets now - it's called something like 'quick cook farro' in Waitrose - and it's brilliant 'cos it only takes 10 mins to cook. Using it as a replacement for aborio rice means you get a textured risotto, if like me, you like yours with a bit of bite.

Wild Garlic, Chicken and Faro Risotto (serves 2)
Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 200g farro (or, if you can't find it, use pearl barley)
  • half a glass of white wine
  • 800ml hot chicken stock
  • a handful of roast chicken, shredded
  • a handful of wild garlic, washed and shredded
  • 50g butter
  • Parmesan (optional)
Make it!
  1. Heat a pan with a good glug of olive oil and a knob of butter. Add your onion and cook until softened, then add the farro. 
  2. Stir until all the grains are coated in oil and season.
  3. Add the wine and reduce by half. 
  4. Feed the farro grains with your hot stock, a ladle at a time, until you used it all up, stirring constantly (this makes it creamy). 
  5. Once you've used up all the liquid and the faro is cooked (about 15-20 mins), throw in your wild garlic and chicken to warm through.
  6. Finally stir in cold knobs of butter and season again. Serve with grated parmesan if desired. 

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