Farro Chicken Bake is a great weeknight dinner that will satisfy the most ravenous appetite. This one-pot casserole will get rave reviews for it’s deliciousness and the distinctive nutty, earthy flavor of the farro grain.
Have you noticed lately that farro has been appearing on the menus in even the fanciest restaurants? This ancient grain is making a come-back to our modern times.
What is farro?
Farro is a term that describes three different species of wheat: einkorn, emmer and spelt. They are the most primitive types of wheat that have a tough hull or husk covering them. Their outer layer requires extra milling and pounding to remove the grain, making them more tedious and time-consuming to process.
Einkorn is the most primitive of the group and dates back to biblical times. All of these grains are more healthy than our modern-day wheat.
Farro is a heart-healthy grain that is very high in nutritional value. It has a high protein content, low-fat and fiber-rich. If you have been including more healthy grains to your diet and have not tried farro yet, this recipe for Farro Chicken Bake will not disappoint.
Cooked farro berries are firmer than rice and have a slightly chewy texture and nutty, earthy flavor. This farro chicken bake recipe is a hearty one-dish meal that is brimming with flavor from the farro berries, veggies and chicken thighs.
Where to buy farro:
Because ancient grains are gaining popularity and more grocery stores are supplying them for the consumer. First, check the bulk section of your local grocery store. You will probably find bins of farro, emmer, einkorn and spelt. Other suppliers would be:
- Trader Joe’s
- Bob’s Red Mill packages
How to make this farro chicken bake:
Farro chicken bake is made by first toasting the farro grain in a little olive oil. Interestingly, as the grains toast they begin to pop and crackle a bit. The toasting brings out the nutty flavor of the grain.
The toasted grain is added to the bottom of a casserole dish, then layered with thick slices of mushrooms. The mild-flavored sliced leeks and garlic were lightly sautéed, then added to the casserole dish. The sun-dried tomatoes add color as well as flavor to the casserole.
Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes are softer than dry-packed tomatoes. They also add a nice pop of color to the dish, however, that oil is fat-loaded. First, we drained them in a fine-mesh strainer. Next, we rinsed them with warm water and blotted them dry with paper towels before adding to the casserole. Chicken broth and sour cream was whisked together and poured over the casserole. This provides a good flavor base for the farro to absorb.
Cheese choices to use in Farro Chicken Bake:
For the cheesy layer we used shredded Monterey jack. Here are a few cheese choices that could be substituted:
- Crumbled Feta
Finally, place the chicken thighs on top and season with salt and pepper. After dusting the chicken with paprika the casserole bakes for about forty-five minutes. The chicken thighs are tender and juicy. As the chicken cooks on top the juices drip through the casserole adding a yummy goodness to this awesome tasting casserole.
This is a healthy, all-in-one dinner, just make a light salad while the dish is cooking.
More ancient grain recipes:
- Einkorn Breakfast Pilaf
- Toasted Farro Salad with Nasturtium Flowers
- Roasted Emmer and Winter Squash Risotto
- Einkorn Berries and Beef Stuffed Peppers
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- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup farro wheat berries
- 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 2 leeks, white parts only, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of oil
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 6 chicken thighs
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Paprika dusting
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a 9x13 oven-proof casserole dish with oil spray
- Add the oil to a large pot set over medium heat and when it is hot add the farro berries, stirring to coat with the oil. Cook the farro, stirring frequently until they become toasty. You will hear them pop and crackle as they toast. Pour 6 cups of water over the farro and bring to a boil. Cook the farro until it al-dente or still has a little bite. It should take 15 to 30 minutes depending on the type of farro you have.
- Drain the farro and transfer it to the prepared casserole dish, spreading evenly across the bottom of the dish.
- Add the sliced mushrooms on top of the toasted farro in an even layer.
- To the same skillet, add the sliced leeks and the garlic and cook until the leeks become wilted and the garlic is fragrant. Transfer to the casserole and spread evenly on top of the mushrooms. Distribute the drained sun-dried tomatoes over the leeks. In a dish or pitcher, whisk the chicken broth and sour cream together and pour over the casserole.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top and add the chicken thigh, skin side up. Season with salt and pepper and dust lightly with paprika.
- Transfer the baking dish to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until the chicken thighs reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 451Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 235mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 42g