Chicken Barley Risotto

    1 hour 20 minutes

    Pearl barley is a good substitution for arborio rice in risotto. This is a creamy chicken and mushroom risotto.

    14 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 3 1/2 cups (875ml) water
    • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) vegetable stock
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
    • 1 cup (250ml) light milk
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) fat-free evaporated milk
    • 1 cup pearl barley
    • 1 teaspoon butter
    • 1/2 cup (60g) Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1/2 cup (60g) Romano cheese, grated

    Preparation:20min  ›  Cook:1hour  ›  Ready in:1hour20min 

    1. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees C. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and coat with balsamic vinegar.
    2. Bake the chicken breasts in the preheated oven until no longer pink in the centre and the juices run clear; about 45 minutes. Slice chicken into small pieces. Set aside.
    3. In the meantime; bring the water and vegetable stock to a low boil in a saucepan then turn off the heat. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion begins to turn golden brown at the edges; about 2 minutes.
    4. Season with salt and pepper then add mushrooms cooking until mushrooms are tender. Pour the milk and the evaporated milk into the same saucepan and heat for 2 minutes. Stir in the barley.
    5. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in 1 cup of the boiling vegetable stock; continue stirring until the barley has absorbed the liquid and turned creamy. Repeat this process until there is only 1 cup of stock left.
    6. Stir in the chicken with the last cup of stock. When finished the barley should be tender yet slightly firm; about 45 minutes.
    7. Stir in the butter, Parmesan cheese and Romano cheese before serving.

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    Reviews in English (14)


    Excellent! Very rich. I only had skim/fat free mik, which worked fine. I will cut the romano cheese down to about 1/8-1/4 cup next time I make it. While it is delicious, it's worth noting that this dish (like regular risotto) is very labor intensive--you are standing at the stove stirring nonstop for about an hour.  -  05 Jan 2010  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    I thought this tasted great. I did make one small change, i cubed the chicken and cooked it in a tsp of the olive oil, then added just 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (instead of 2) at the end of cooking to glaze the chicken, then set it aside. Then I continued the recipe in the same pot.  -  31 Oct 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    I did a little tweaking - poached the chicken. Didn't use water - it has no flavor - used stock & wine. Needed more liquid/time to get the barley cooked. See my custom version for notes.  -  28 Feb 2011  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)