"This recipe has some of the creamy texture of a risotto but requires far less stirring." -Diana Hubbell, Sudbury, MA
1/2 cup hot water
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/4 cup wild rice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
How to Make It
Combine 1/2 cup hot water and mushrooms; let stand 10 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add barley, rice, and thyme; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in mushroom mixture and broth. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes or until barley is tender. Stir in chicken and cheese; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Stir in parsley, salt, and pepper.
Wine note: Chicken breast does not always demand white wine, especially when it's accompanied by porcini mushrooms and wild rice. Serve an easy-drinking wine, like Trapiche Pinot Noir 2005 ($7) from Argentina. The straightforward raspberry and cherry fruit of this wine marry well with the earthy porcini and nutty rice without overpowering the white meat. -Jeffery Lindenmuth
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