Lime Chicken and Vegetable Farro Risotto

Recipe from What's For Lunch, Honey?  


1 organic whole chicken, approx. 1.5 kg
3 organic limes, zest from 2 limes
300g farro, semi perlato
2 red onions, cut into thick slices
1 each red and yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 fennel, sliced
500ml vegetable stock
4-5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
4 sprigs of thyme
4 sprigs of mint
Bunch of flat leaf parsley
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper


  1. Thoroughly wash the chicken inside and outside, then using paper towels pat dry. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C.

  2. In a large mixing bowl toss the onions, bell pepper and fennel slices in 3 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the vegetables evenly in a roasting tray.

  3. Coming back to the chicken, brush the inside and outside with the 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the zest of two limes.

  4. Stuff the chicken with the 2 zested limes and thyme. Place the chicken on the in the roasting tray along with the vegetables and roast for 60 to 90 minutes.

  5. For the farro, heat up the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toast the farro, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and simmer until the farro is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Do taste often while the farro is cooking, You want it to be tender but still chewy and retain its texture. Drain, cover and set aside.

  6. To test if the chicken is done, poke the thigh with a sharp knife, when the juices run clear it is done. Otherwise roast for a further few minutes.

  7. Chop up the parsley and mint. Squeeze the juice out of the remaining lime and toss well.

  8. Remove chicken and vegetables from the oven. Coarsely chop the vegetables. Add to the farro along with the herbs and the juice. Drizzle the 1 teaspoon olive oil. Check if the farro is still warm if not heat it through on medium heat. Mix well and season with salt and pepper.

  9. Carve the chicken into individual pieces and serve with the farro risotto.

Serving tips:

  • If you like you can grate some Parmigiano Reggiano on top of the farro, for a more cheesy flavor.
  • Toss in a few toasted pine nuts for a wonderful crunch.
  • Vegetarians can add more vegetables and a few mushrooms for a wonderful aromatic dish.