Chicken and Barley Risotto with Edamame

This meal was a hit with almost the whole family (my three year old is on a bit of a food strike so nothing really gets eaten by him these days!).  But, the rest of us really liked this meal.  It was simple yet filling and perfect for a cold Minnesota day.  I liked how easy it was, being that it was minimal effort in the slow cooker.  We will be making this again!

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Chicken and Barley Risotto with Edamame

Recipe from my friend Sarah B.

1 ½ lb. chicken breasts, cut into ¾ inch cubes
1 ½ c. chopped onions
1 ¼ c. uncooked pearl barley
½ c. shredded carrot
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp dried thyme
4 c. chicken broth
1 c. frozen edamame
½ c. shredded Parmesan

Instructions:
Spray 4-5 qt. slow cooker with cooking spray.

In cooker, mix chicken, onions, barley, carrot, garlic, salt and thyme.  Add 3 c. of broth. Reserve last cup.
Cover.  Cook on Low 4-5 hours.

In 2 cup microwaveable cup, microwave remaining broth on High 2-3 minutes.  Stir THAWED edamame and boiling broth into mixture in cooker.  Increase to HIGH;  cover and cook 25-30 minutes longer or until edamame is tender.  Stir in cheese.

Season with additional salt/pepper as needed.

Serve immediately.

Food for Thought:

We made this as a freezer meal.  If you would like to do that, simply pack the chicken in one quart or sandwich sized zipper bag.  Pack the edamame in another.  Pack the cheese in it’s own bag as well.  Combine the onion, barley, salt, carrot, garlic, and thyme in another bag.  I kept the broth in the cupboard. Put all of the smaller bags into a larger gallon sized freezer bag, label and freeze.  On the day you are ready to cook, simply thaw and follow the cooking instructions above.

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