Thai Chicken Barley Risotto

Recipe Source: Bernie’s Mom (Georgette Wilson) and
Cooking Light (via

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)


1  tablespoon  sesame oil, divided
1 1/2  cups  chopped green onions, divided
2  tablespoons  minced garlic, divided
1/2  cup  uncooked pearl barley
1/2  cup  chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
1  (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2  jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1/4  cup  fresh lime juice
1  tablespoon  brown sugar
1  tablespoon  water
1 1/2  teaspoons  rice vinegar
1  teaspoon  low-sodium soy sauce
1/2  teaspoon  red curry paste
1  tablespoon  chopped peeled fresh lemongrass
1  teaspoon  grated peeled fresh ginger
3  cups  shredded cooked chicken breast (about 1 pound)
1 1/4  cups  red bell pepper strips
1  cup  sugar snap peas, trimmed
1  cup  light coconut milk
4  teaspoons  chopped peanuts

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add 1/2 cup onions and 1 tablespoon garlic; sauté 1 minute.  Stir in barley, 1/4 cup cilantro, salt, black pepper, 1/2 cup broth, and jalapeños; bring to a boil.  Cook 3 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.  Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 15 minutes).

Combine juice and next 5 ingredients (juice through curry paste); set aside.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 cup onions, 1 tablespoon garlic, lemongrass, and ginger; sauté 1 minute.  Add chicken, bell pepper, and peas; sauté 2 minutes.  Stir in barley mixture, juice mixture, and milk; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally.  Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro.  Sprinkle each serving with 1 teaspoon nuts.


Calories:  434 (26% from fat)
Fat:  12.4g (sat 3.9g,mono 3.7g,poly 3g)
Protein:  41.6g
Carbohydrate:  37.4g
Fiber:  7.8g
Cholesterol:  96mg
Iron:  3mg
Sodium:  691mg
Calcium:  65mg

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