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Asparagus, Chicken, and Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is such a satisfying comfort food and so effortless to make with barley. This recipe calls for a minimum of stirring and is made with piece of chicken, pre-sliced mushrooms, and asparagus.

2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil, divided
1 lb (500 g) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
7 oz (200 g) sliced mushrooms
1 small onion, finely diced
1 cup (250 mL) pot or pearl barley
1 carton (32 oz [900 mL]) less-sodium, ready-to-use chicken broth
1/2 lb (250 g) asparagus, trimmed
1/4 cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat half of the oil. Sautè chicken breasts and mushrooms until chicken is browned. Remove from pan. Add remaining oil to the pan along with the onion and sauté until softened. Stir in barley, then chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover pan and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir vigorously for 15 seconds. Stir in cooked chicken and mushrooms and simmer for 15 minutes. Cut asparagus stalks into thirds and stir into barley mixture. Continue to simmer for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese just before serving.

Makes 4 servings.