This dish is a great, nutritious blend of oven-roasted chicken and farro, a grain that is considered a superfood. Wholesome and delicious, farro and hearty vegetables deliver the flavor and healthy edge that we need to balance a meal.
YIELD: 4–6 SERVINGS
1 (6-pound) roasting chicken
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced crosswise
1⁄2-inch thick 1 lemon
3 large cloves garlic, peeled
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 1 cup homemade chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove and discard the plastic pop-up timer from the chicken, if there is one. Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold running water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the body. Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper, and set aside.
Place the onion slices in the center of a heavy-duty roasting pan. Pierce the entire surface of the lemon with a fork. Using the side of a large knife blade, gently press on the garlic cloves to open slightly. Insert garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, and lemon into the chicken cavity. Set the chicken in the roasting pan on the onion slices. Cut about 18 inches of kitchen twine, bring chicken legs forward, cross them, and tie them together. Spread the softened butter over the entire surface of the chicken, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Pour in the chicken stock. Place in the oven, and roast for 15 minutes, then drop temperature to 325°F and roast
until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when pierced, about 1 1⁄4 hours. When chicken seems done, insert an instant-read thermometer into the breast, then the thigh. The breast temperature should read 155°F and the thigh 160°F. Remove chicken from oven, and transfer to a cutting board with a well (if possible). Let chicken stand 10–15 minutes so the juices settle.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 each small onion, small carrot, and celery rib,
1 medium zucchini, diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces
1 medium yellow squash, diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces 1 small rosemary sprig
4 scallions, thinly sliced, using the entire scallion 2 garlic cloves, minced
2⁄3 cup (4 ounces) farro, rinsed and drained
2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion, carrot, celery, zucchini, squash, rosemary, scallions, and garlic; cook over high heat, stirring, until just softened. Add the farro and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock, water, and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cover and cook over
moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the farro is tender, 15 minutes. Drain the farro, reserving 1⁄4 cup cooking liquid for assembly, and taste, adding additional salt and pepper if needed.
Be sure to wash the farro before using. Sometimes during importation it becomes dusty.
Serve this dish family style as shown, using some of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten if needed.
This is a perfect fall-weather dish. It can be used as an enhancement to a brunch buffet for your friends and family.
Use pork, veal, or lamb in place of chicken.