Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Um, yeah.

Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

So this might sort of ruin you so good.

Because it’s that one meal that no matter which way you look at it, you can’t kick it out of your mouth. You can’t. And because I was feeling a bit nostalgic whilst listening to some Alanis Morrisette the other day, I added baby spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. I DON’T KNOW IT TIED TOGETHER IN MY HEAD OKAY?

But look. It’s risotto. With barley. Which is somewhat of an overlooked grain, don’t you think? Isn’t it ironic? Just kidding, I know what irony means. (So does Lelaina Pierce. Well, she can’t define it, but she knows it when she sees it! <–name that movie.)

Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

And what eeeerbody loves about weeknight cooking, is that this is one-pan! It all takes place in one lil’ spot, so the rage you feel in your soul governed to cleaning may commence to vanishment. (wait, did I just invent another word?)

Look how simple this is! All pantry and fridge stuff.

Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

So first, dice up a couple of chicken breasts, and sear them in a pan with a few Tbs. of real butter. And I mean REAL butter. None of that weird alien stuff in a tub. This is your one life, go real. (my fist is in the air right now.) You want a little browning all over because you’re a good person deep down. Now dust the chicken with garlic powder and Italian seasoning. See? Simple.

Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

Next up, we build our risotto! Add some diced onion into the buttery pan, and get a little color on it. Let it sauté about five minutes, past the sweating and a smidge into browning. Then add the dried barley. Let it toast in the buttery onions for a minute or two, just enough to get all coated and happy with itself. You know.

Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

Theeeen, you can definitely add a splash of white wine, like you traditionally do with risotto. I’ve been on a non-drinking thing during the weekdays (I know, I know), so I skipped it and went straight to chicken stock. And what you’ll do is ladle the (barely simmering) stock into the pan, a half cup at a time, and let the barley absorb the liquid, as you stir it around in the pan.

And I LIED TO YOU. Not out of malicious intent, but I forgot! There’s another little pot on a neighboring burner, keeping the chicken stock at a low simmer. Ssssssssssorry.

About 20 minutes into the ladle-ing, the barley will have absorbed most of the liquid, and it is now transforming into this velvety, creamy pan of self discovery. So while you’re at it, add the tomatoes and spinach! Let it wilt and become one with the risotto.

Remember the buttery chicken from before? Now is your chance in this world. Add it back.

And look.

Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

LOVE IS PAIN.

There’s one tablespoon of butter left (could you not be happier right now?), so once the chicken is back in the pan, turn the heat off and toss the butter in, along with a little bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese. OMG yuz.

Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

And there she is. Perfectly creamy, absurdly savory, and look at you using up that old box of barley from three years ago!

Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

I won’t be mad if you make this for Valentine’s Day.

Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 4 Tbs. butter, divided
  • 1 Tbs. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 medium white onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup barley (quick cooking or medium cooking is fine)
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 oz whole sun-dried tomatoes (from a jar)
  • 1 (5 oz) tub baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Heat 3 Tbs butter in a large sauté pan. Once melted and foaming, add the cubed chicken in a single layer, and let sit for a good three minutes so that the chicken browns on the bottom. Flip and sear another minute or two, seasoning with a pinch of salt, the garlic powder and Italian seasoning. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  2. Bring a small saucepan to a medium heat; add the chicken stock and let it lightly simmer while you start the risotto.
  3. Back in the sauté pan, add the diced onion with a small pinch of salt. Sauté the onion for a few minutes, until you start to get a little color. Add the barley and and toss it in the buttery onions to coat and toast a minute. Then, add the warm chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring the barley to absorb the liquid. Once the barley absorbs the stock, add another ladle. Keep adding stock over the course of about 20 minutes, until the barley is creamy, plump and tender. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and the spinach (in handfuls), until the spinach fully wilts and pops in color. Add the chicken and its collected juices back to the pan.
  4. Turn the heat off and add the last Tbs. of butter, along with the grated parmesan. Toss toss toss. Taste it right now. Need anymore salt? A tad? No? Yes? This is your life.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley and more cheeeeeese!
  6. Serves four.
7.8.1.2
206
http://bevcooks.com/2019/02/barley-risotto-with-chicken-spinach-and-sun-dried-tomatoes/


Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes / Bev Cooks

Hold me.

(This post is definitely in partnership with Go Bold With Butter, but all ramblings and butter slurpings are totally my own. We coo?)

, , , , ,

6 Responses to Barley Risotto with Chicken, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes

  1. Christi February 7, 2019 at 1:10 pm #
    Hey Bev! This looks yummy. Quick q. When I go to print your recipes (because I am old school that way), I do not get the cute little picture. Is it possible to add that? I mean I can probably do it on my end with some Word tricks, but curious if it's easy for you to throw up there. Thanks and sorry for being high maintenance. ;)
    • Bev Weidner February 8, 2019 at 6:23 am #
      Oh weird! It should be printing the photo, too. I'll look into it!!
  2. Amanda February 7, 2019 at 7:05 pm #
    Yum!! Putting this on the list to make next week. I’m all about any spinach and sun dried tomato combo. And if Alanis brought us there it’s even better.
  3. Rachele February 8, 2019 at 5:48 am #
    I’m totally trying this in the instant pot. Instant pot risotto is a game changer. Barley in the instant pot is a game changer. So according to this logic, this recipe should instant pot beautifully. I will wilt in the spinach at the end.
  4. Apopka Native February 8, 2019 at 11:21 am #
    "Reality Bites", love that movie! Love this recipe, too. It's nice to see sun dried tomatoes in a starring role. So many 90s feels.
  5. Nancy February 8, 2019 at 11:48 am #
    I'm all over this! I love barley and actually have a brand new package in my cupboard. Making this over the weekend! Thanks!

Leave a Reply