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Freekeh chicken and asparagus 'risotto'

Freekeh chicken and asparagus 'risotto'

Total Time
55 min
15 min
40 min
Using on-trend freekeh instead of Arborio rice, this dish has a variety of Zero Heroes to produce a delicious and satisfying meal.


Skinless chicken breast

500 g, cut into thin strips

Brown onion

1 medium, finely chopped


2 clove(s), crushed

Dry freekeh

1¼ cup(s), cracked variety, (235g)

Chicken stock cube

2 individual, to make 4 cups (1L) liquid stock

Frozen green peas

1 cup(s), (120g), thawed


1 bunch(es), cut diagonally into 5cm lengths

Baby spinach

4 cup(s), (80g)

Fresh basil

½ cup(s), chopped

99% fat-free, plain Greek yoghurt, unsweetened

4 tbs

Fresh lemon rind

1 tsp, finely shredded, to serve

Oil spray

2 x 3 second spray(s)


  1. Lightly spray a large deep non-stick frying pan with oil and heat over a medium-high heat. Cook chicken in 2 batches, for 2-3 minutes each batch, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside.
  2. Lightly spray pan again with oil. Add onion, cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until lightly golden. Add garlic and freekeh, cook, stirring, a further 1 minute.
  3. Stir in 1½ cups (375ml) stock. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until stock is absorbed. Repeat step with another 1½ cups (375ml).
  4. Stir in peas, asparagus and remaining stock. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for a further 5 minutes or until stock is almost absorbed and vegetables are tender. Return chicken to pan with any juices from plate. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in spinach and basil. Remove from heat, stand covered for 5 minutes. Divide freekeh among 4 serving bowls, top with a dollop of yoghurt, sprinkle with lemon rind and season with freshly ground pepper.


Cracked freekeh can be purchased frommajor supermarkets and health food stores. Use a zester to cut thin strips of lemon rind. Alternatively, peel lengths of rind from lemon using a vegetable peeler, then slice finely with a small, sharp knife.