If you haven’t tried using barley in risotto, you really are missing something. Full of fibre goodness, barley is a great alternative to arborio rice since it becomes plump and chewy when cooked. You could simply prepare this dish as baked barley and turkey but by adding the Parmesan and butter at the end, we can release the barley’s starches, creating that delicious creamy risotto texture.
This risotto is quite adaptable, you could use leftover rotisserie chicken instead of turkey, or leave out the meat, double up on the vegetables and make a vegetarian meal or a side to a roast dish. The added bonus is that most of the work is done in the oven so you don’t have to keep stirring.
Comforting Baked Barley Turkey Risotto
- dutch oven
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 8 ounces mushrooms such as white button, cremini and shiitakes, halved if small, quartered if large
- 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
- 1 medium carrot very thinly sliced into rounds (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup peas fresh or frozen (optional)
- 4 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup cooked turkey shredded
- 1 tsp. tarragon fresh, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan more for serving
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- ¼ cup chives chopped
- 1 pinch Kosher salt to taste
- 1 pinch black pepper to taste
- Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms start to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in barley, carrots and peas and 4 1/2 cups stock , and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake until barley is tender and chewy and almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
- Stir in the turkey, Parmesan and the butter until slightly thickened and creamy. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide among shallow bowls. Sprinkle with chives and more Parmesan, to taste.