When we dined at Texture in November, we had an unforgettable cod and barley risotto courtesy of Michelin Starred Chef Aggi Sverrisson. We have not been able to get it out of our minds and I have become obsessed with trying to re-create it. However, taking baby steps we decided to attempt a very simple traditional risotto recipe, with the exception of using arborio rice. The tiny baubles of barley are perfect if you prefer your foods al dente. Barley is quite firm and the robust textures leaves you feeling intensely satisfied.
Since January is health kick month, you will find this a great low GI recipe, which compared to rice is a preferable option in terms of regulating hunger and your energy levels. It therefore make a great, easy weekend cheat-treat. We have more experimental ideas that we are eager to try out with barley. Watch this space.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 150g uncooked pearl barley
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 600ml Chicken stock
- 175 ml glass of dry vermouth
- 200g chicken breast
- 100g mushrooms
- 40g grated parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the chicken breast into small pieces and cook in a frying pan with 1 tbsp of the olive oil for 6 minutes until browned. Season and leave to one side.
- Roughly chop the mushrooms (not too fine and not too chunky) and fry for 3 minutes until cooked.
- On a medium to low heat, add 1 tbsp of the olive oil into a good sized saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Fry gently for about 5 minutes until it becomes soft and aromatic.
- Add the barley straight to the pan with the vermouth and stir for about a minute.
- Add one ladle full of the stock to the barley and give it a good stir. As the mixture becomes a little drier, use the ladle to add more stock. Keep repeating until the stock has all gone, expect this to take up to about 30 minutes and you should have a nice creamy risotto.
- Stir in the cooked chicken and mushrooms, the parmesan, chopped chives and serve immediately.