Roasted Chicken with Farro and Peas


By Recipe developed for Sur La Table’s Cooking Classes


Makes 4 servings


  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 cup semi-pearled farro

  • 1½ lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, rinsed and thinly sliced

  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

  • ½ cup grape tomatoes, halved

  • ½ cup fresh peas or sliced snap peas

  • ¼ cup roughly chopped basil leaves, plus more for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish


Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring chicken broth and 2 cups of water a boil, add farro. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until farro is tender. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid and transfer farro to a colander to drain excess liquid, set aside. (Make ahead tip, farro can be prepared ahead and refrigerated until needed.)

Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, place chicken presentation side down in the skillet and cook, turning over as needed with tongs, until golden brown on both sides. Transfer skillet to the oven and roast chicken until cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F. Carefully transfer skillet back to the stovetop. Using tongs, remove the roasted chicken from the skillet and place on a cutting board, tent loosely with foil.

Allow the skillet to cool slightly, pour off and discard any oil in the pan. Add remaining tablespoon of oil and place over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add leeks and shallots, cook until tender and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, lemon zest, tomatoes and peas; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cooked farro and stir to combine, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. If the farro seems dry, add small amounts of the reserved cooking liquid to moisten. When the farro is hot and peas are tender, add basil, lemon juice and parmesan. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.

To serve: Transfer farro to a large warm platter or divide between dinner plates. Slice chicken and arrange over farro. Garnish with additional parmesan and basil.

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