Grain bowls are really popular these days, and for good reason. They’re hearty, there are a million different permutations of ingredients, and if you add enough vegetables they can be really healthy. I do not make a lot of grain bowls but I would like to get better at it. This one uses rotisserie chicken, which is one of my favorite grocery store items for when I just can’t right now.
This recipe is all about CONFINING myself to the normal components of grain bowls: grains, vegetables, meat, dressing. Within that structure, there’s not a lot that can go wrong.
Rotisserie chicken – I don’t buy rotisserie chicken a ton, but when I do it’s for a specific purpose: dishes that call for cooked chicken where the chicken is not the end point of the dish (eg, chicken enchiladas, this recipe). While rotisserie chickens are not technically cheaper than raw whole chickens, they are very close in price and have the advantage of being perfectly pre-cooked. I also recently used the bones of my rotisserie chicken to make chicken stock, reducing food and financial waste.
Mixed grains – For this grain bowl, I used a bunch of different grains, but you can use whatever you want. I always seem to have small amounts of a bunch of different types in my cupboard, so this is a good cleaning opportunity. Cooking a bunch of different types shouldn’t be more difficult than cooking just one type, as long as you cook them all in the same pot. To do this, I put an excess of salted water into a pot, bring it to a boil, then start adding the grains, beginning with the type that has the longest cooking time. As the timer ticks down, I will add additional grains at the appropriate time so that they will all finish cooking at the same time. Then when they’re done I drain any remaining water.
Below, the recipe:
Rotisserie Chicken Grain Bowl
- 1 rotisserie chicken
- 3 large beets with greens
- 1.5 Spanish onions, cut in 1 inch chunks
- 1 head broccoli, cut in florets
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
- 2 medium zucchini, cut in 1 inch chunks
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup pearled farro, rinsed
- ½ cup quinoa
- 7 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- kosher salt
- ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup Marcona almonds, chopped
- ¼ cup parsley, lightly chopped
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp whole grain mustard
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 large clove garlic, cut in chunks
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp chopped tarragon
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ¾ cups extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425°F
- Trim and scrub the beets (keep the greens), then place on a large piece of aluminum foil. Tear the beet greens into smaller pieces and set aside.
- Drizzle 1 Tbsp vegetable oil over the beets and sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Wrap the foil around the beets to make a package and roast for at least one hour, until the beets are fork tender. Let cool before peeling with a paring knife and cutting into 1 inch cubes.
- Toss the onion, broccoli, and carrots in ¼ cup vegetable oil, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper.
- Distribute on a baking sheet and roast for 30-45 min until soft and brown.
- Cook the barley, rice, farro, and quinoa in salted water according to package directions.
- Heat 2 Tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet over med-hi
- Add zucchini and cook for 5 min
- Add beet greens and garlic and cook for another 3 min. Toss together with roasted vegetables.
- Pick the meat from the rotisserie chicken and cut into bite-size pieces.
- In a twist-top container, whisk together all dressing ingredients except oil.
- Add oil, close container, and shake to emulsify
- Serve with grains on the bottom, topped with chicken and vegetables. Drizzle dressing over the top and garnish with almonds and parsley.
This was fine and it made a bunch for leftovers. Pretty much your standard grain bowl. With this low level of doctoring of the chicken and vegetables, the only thing to make it stand out was the dressing, which was good but nothing ground breaking. I did like the additional crunch of the almonds at the end and of course it is very helpful for getting a good balance of vegetables into your diet.