This easy dish is perfect for a casual get-together with friends. Inspired by arroz con pollo, it is hearty with satisfying complexity. Cumin, saffron, and oregano season rich chicken thighs and nutty farro as the dish simmers. If using saffron, deploy it sparingly; those tiny threads bring subtle flavor and a little color to the dish, but too much will yield a medicinal taste. Serve with a side salad to complete the meal.
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 2-in.-long, 1/2-in.-thick strips
1 large green bell pepper, cut into 2-in.-long, 1/2-in.-thick strips
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 1/2 cups uncooked farro, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-oz.) can unsalted diced tomatoes, drained
6 large pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
1 cup frozen petite green peas
Est. added sugars 0g
How to Make It
Combine chicken, vinegar, black pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, turning to coat chicken on all sides. Let stand 20 minutes; drain.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add 6 chicken thighs to pan in a single layer; cook until well browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate. Repeat process with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining 6 chicken thighs.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic to pan; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in saffron (if using), cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute. Stir in stock, farro, and tomatoes. Increase heat to high; bring to a boil. Return chicken and accumulated juices to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook until chicken is done, about 20 minutes.
Stir in olives. Cook, uncovered, until farro is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 8 minutes. Stir in peas; cook until peas are tender, about 3 minutes.
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As written, this recipe has WAY too much saffron (which is ironic, considering the preface to the recipe warns against using too much). It overpowered the dish and had a medicinal taste, just as the preface warned it would. I had to try to mute it with smoked paprika and a shot of apple cider vinegar at the end. Then it just tasted dull. I would cut the saffron back to 1/4 tsp, max. As usual, it took longer to make than the instructions said it would. That may be because I had to skin the chicken first, since my store sells bone-in thighs with the skin on. Although it would have added even more time, the final dish would have benefited from browning the chicken in three batches, rather than two-- even in my Le Crueset Dutch oven there wasn't really enough room to brown (as opposed to steam) so many thighs at one time. I might try it again, but not when I'm in a hurry, and not with so much saffron.
Very flavorful - my first time cooking with farro. DH really loved it too. I did not use the saffron, bet that would add another layer of flavor. Love that it makes a ton and it is really filling. A bit time consuming for a work night meal, probably took me an hour and 10 minutes (not counting the brief marinade which I did in a zip lock bag) to get it to the table. Will definitely make again.