LEMONY CHICKEN AND FARRO SALAD

I love everything about this. I love that you can mix and match all the veggies to personalize every single persons bowl. I love that each vegetable cooks separately to retain their own bright and clean flavors. I love that because they’re not all cooked in one pot or thrown together in one big bowl, leftovers can be easily stored and repurposed for tomorrows dinner. But most of all, I love how incredibly satisfying this meal is to eat and look at! 

Don’t feel intimidated by all the components because you DO NOT  have to make them all. I just wanted you to have options and ideas of all the different things you throw in here.  Also, you could totally take the easy way out and cook this stuff a day or two before when you have some extra time on your hands and then just reheat and assemble! I love to have a bunch of different types of cooked veggies in my fridge to expedite the lunch and dinner process through out the week. 

I kept the flavors of this dish pretty neutral because I really wanted this recipe to be a jumping off point for you to create your own grain bowls from. You can add some smoked paprika and cumin to the chicken to give it a Mexican-y twist and add some black beans and corn, or go middle eastern with he some shawarma spice and tahini. The possibilities are really endless, so play around with it and enjoy!!!

Ingredients:

For the farro:

1 Tbsp olive oil

1&1/2 cups farro

4 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Add oil to a medium sized pot placed over high heat. Add faro, salt and pepper. Stir for one minute. Add water and bring to a boil. reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Once faro is “al dente” remove from heat and if there is any remaining liquid just strain.

For the chicken:

12 chicken cutlets

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1&1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tbsp whole grain mustard

6 cloves garlic, minced

juice of half a lemon

Add all the ingredients to a large bowl. Using your hands mix very well to make sure that each piece of chicken is easily coated with the marinade. Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat. Add chicken, in batches, cooking for 2-3 on the first side and 1-2 minutes on the second side. Remove from pan and c continue until the chicken is cooked.

For the onions:

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 onions, diced

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

Add everything to a medium sized pot, set over medium low heat. Stir every few minutes so that onions don’t burn. Cook for 35 minutes until onions are golden.

For the mushrooms:

10 c chopped mushrooms (I used oyster and porcini, but use what you have)

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1&1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

Add oil and mushrooms to a larger pot set over medium heat.  

Stir frequently until mushrooms release their liquid. Continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms just start to crisp. 

For the kale:

8 cups baby kale (tough stems removed)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 c sherry wine

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Add kale and oil to a large pot set over medium heat. 

Stir for 1-2 minutes until some kale begins to wilt. 

Add wine, stir and cover pot for 2 minutes. 

Remove cover and stir until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Add everything else and cook for one more minute.

Roasted Zucchini and Peppers:

2 medium zucchinis, sliced into 1/4 inch thick circle

1 red and 1 yellow pepper, sliced into 1/4 inch sticks

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

6 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 400f and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Lay peppers on one side of the baking sheet and zucchini on the other. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and sprinkle garlic, salt and pepper. Mix zucchinis and then mix peppers, trying to keep them separated. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until edges start to crisp.

To assemble the salad:

I like to start with the grain as a base so that it can soak up all the yummy flavors. 

From there you can either pile everything right on top, or assemble it in sections over the grain. 

These bowls really don’t need a dressing if they are assembled fresh, but if you are eating it the next day sometimes its nice to add a little vinaigrette or salad dressing to pull it all together.

 When I ate these leftovers for dinner the next night I put a small amount of my caesar dressing (click here for the recipe) over the top and it was so delicious. 

The most important thing to remember when it comes to any of these recipes is that they are meant to be personalized. 

Add what you love to eat and it’s a winner dinner every time!

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