This slow cooker chicken and farro combination is loaded with flavor, and it's relatively light. Chicken thighs were used in the pictured dish, but leaner chicken breasts can be used as well. The combination of several vegetables with the chicken and farro make it a hearty, satisfying slow cooker meal.
Farro is a good replacement for rice in the slow cooker because you don't have to worry about it turning to mush. It has a pleasant, chewy texture, and it is higher in protein, fiber, and magnesium than brown rice and many other grains. It's an Italian grain, and it's often referred to as an ancient grain.
You can make this with chicken thighs on the bone as well, but remove the skin to keep it relatively light.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 to 6 chicken thighs (boneless and skinless)
- Dash of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- 4 to 6 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
- 1 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried crumbled sage
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground)
- Optional: fresh chopped parsley
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and sprinkle them lightly with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, turning to brown both sides.
In the crockery insert of the slow cooker, combine the chicken broth, mushrooms, onion, carrot, celery, farro, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, sage, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir to blend.
Push the chicken thighs down into the farro and vegetable mixture.
Cover and cook on LOW for about 6 hours, or until the chicken is tender. The safe minimum temperature for chicken is 160 F (71 C).
Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed.
Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley before serving.
Tips and Variations
There should be enough moisture in the slow cooker, but check it a few hours before it's done to make sure. Add more broth or a little water, if necessary.
If you use boneless chicken breasts in the dish, check them for doneness a little earlier, around 5 hours. Chicken breasts can become dry if cooked too long.
If desired, add 1 clove of garlic, minced, or about 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
Diced rutabaga would be a nice addition to the dish.