Baked Italian Chicken & Farro
Since the weather has been cold and rainy these last few weeks, comfort food has been high on the agenda in our household. I have had a bag of farro in my pantry for awhile and wanted to use it in a baked chicken dish. I love one pot meals. The clean-up is a breeze. I found the farro at Publix and I buy these Cryovac chicken thighs from Costco’s and keep them in my freezer. There are four very large, plump, skin on, bone-in thighs to a pouch. One pouch, some farro and few other ingredients and this dish came out savory and delicious.
NOTE: Farro is a Mediterranean whole grain that has been around forever. It can be substituted for rice in many dishes. Farro does take a little longer to cook than rice (about 30 minutes vs. 20 minutes) and it takes less liquid than rice (about 1.5 to 1 ratio of liquids to grain verses 2 to 1 as in rice). Since farro doesn’t absorb as much liquid as rice, it tends to keep it shape better so it is a little chewier than rice with a nutty flavor. Farro has about half the calories and carbohydrates then white rice with a higher protein and fiber content than modern wheat.
Italian Chicken & Farro
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
Salt & Pepper
2 oz. slab of Pancetta cut into ¼” cubes
1 cup of onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 cup of farro
¼ cup of Marcona almonds, chopped
½ cup of tomato, chopped
1.5 cups of chicken stock
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon of dried thyme leaves
½ teaspoon of dried oregano
½ cup of parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon of lemon zest
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the chicken thighs. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat. Sauté the chicken until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and add the pancetta. Sauté until the fat is rendered and the pancetta is crispy. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the farro and toss until well coated. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, the Marcona almonds (they add a nice crunch and don’t get soggy) bay leaf, oregano and thyme. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Gently set the chicken thighs on top, skin side up and cover with a lid. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove chicken thighs and stir in the parsley, zest and lemon juice. Spoon the farro mixture into bowls and top with a chicken thigh. Serve immediately.