Barley, chicken & mushroom risotto

Barley, chicken & mushroom risotto

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 50 mins


Serves 4
Love risotto? Try this low-fat version, which swaps traditional risotto rice for pearl barley

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal564
  • fat12g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs61g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre3g
  • protein42g
  • salt1.1g
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  • 1 tbsp butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 large shallots, finely sliced



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunky pieces
  • 300g pearl barley
  • 250ml white wine
  • 400g mixed wild and chestnut mushroom, chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaf
  • 1l hot chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • snipped chives, to serve (optional)
  • Parmesan shavings, to serve (optional)



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. In a large heavy saucepan, heat the butter and oil. Sauté the shallots and garlic with some seasoning for 5 mins, then stir in the chicken and cook for 2 mins.

  2. Add the barley and cook for 1 min. Pour in the wine and stir until it is absorbed. Add the mushrooms and thyme, then pour over ¾ of the stock. Cook for 40 mins on a low simmer until the barley is tender, stirring occasionally and topping up with remaining stock if it looks dry. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan. Serve immediately, with chives and Parmesan shavings scattered over, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th May, 2016
Delicious! I added a bit of lemon zest as I had it lying around and stirred in some fresh spinach and cream cheese at the end but would still have been great without it. I thought it was quite big for four people; it fed my husband, four year old and me for about 3 meals.
28th Apr, 2016
Very tasty! I used an onion instead of shallots, and goats cheese instead of parmesan. Also added spinach and peas :) Cooked it for a bit longer than suggestion, around 55 mins in total.
10th Aug, 2014
made this last week! added some more wine to the mix, used chestnut, portobello and normal white mushrooms.... it was Amazing! the barley remains a bit al dente.. added a leek to the beginning when i cooked the onion too and that was great.. the mushrooms gave it such a nice colour. I think I would prefer this without chicken in it.. and as an accompaniment to some nice pork and apple sausages or just as it is as a veggie option... definitely recommend!
4th Apr, 2014
I made the recipe with ingredients as stated (except for subbing chicken breast for thighs), and it is really lovely. I increased the cooking time to an hour and would probably have further increased that if I'd had the time as I like my pearl barley on the squiggly-side rather than al-dente. Will make again but I'll stick it in my rice cooker next time. The flavours are delicious. I didn't need to season, the stock was enough.
22nd Feb, 2014
Tasted lovely but gave myself and husband the worst wind for over 18 hours that I have ever experienced! Proceed with caution!
25th Jun, 2013
Great, used red wine as open already, and dried mushrooms too, soaking and using the soaking liquid too, tasted fab, very earthy, low GI, served with salad as its summer
6th Jun, 2013
Made it last night and it was superb.I Used risotto rice instead of barley and dry wild mushrooms instead of chestnut mushrooms. It will defo become one of regular meals.
30th Nov, 2012
forgot to rate above review!
14th Nov, 2012
Made this last night and it was so tasty and very, very easy. I replaced the chicken with turkey breast and used half barley and half risotto rice. Also didn't want to open a bottle of wine so I used dry Martini
18th Oct, 2012
This is a really earthy winter dinner, I used pork instead of chicken, added leeks and it was great!
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17th Oct, 2015
Need to cook the pearl barley MUCH longer than stated. I soaked mine for half an hour beforehand and it still took about 1.5 hours to be nice and tender.