Healthy Farro con Pollo

Recently I decided to make a healthier version of a very popular Latin dish, Farro con Pollo.  Farro is a whole grain that is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates. Farro also has twice the fiber and protein than most commonly used wheats. While farro does contain gluten, the gluten molecules are weaker than those used in modern wheat, making it more easily digested (for a regular gluten-inclusive diet).

In addition to minerals and vitamins, farro is rich in antioxidant properties and has been found to stimulate the immune system, lower cholesterol and help maintain blood sugar levels.  It also tastes good.

Farro con Pollo


  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped green bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked farro
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
  • Dash of crushed saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Combine the first four ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Remove chicken thighs from broth. Strain broth through a colander into a bowl and discard solids. Add enough water to broth to equal 3 cups, and set broth mixture aside.
  3. Remove the chicken from bones and cut meat into bite-size pieces.
  4. Heat the oil in the pot over medium high heat.
  5. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; sauté 6 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Add farro, paprika and saffron; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  7. Add the broth mixture, wine, salt and pepper; cook 6 minutes or until half of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.
  8. Stir in chicken. Cover and for 12-15 minutes or until farro is just tender and liquid is nearly absorbed.
  9. Sprinkle each serving with chopped parsley

Nutritional information: calories: 303; fat: 5.5grams; saturated fat: 1.2grams; monounsaturated fat: 1.6grams; polyunsaturated fat: 1.9grams; protein: 18.7grams;  carbohydrates: 41grams;  fiber: 2.3grams;  cholesterol: 62mg;  sodium: 404mg

Citrus-Chocolate Flan:


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Place sugar in a medium, heavy skillet over medium heat; cook until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking an additional 1 1/2 minutes or until golden.
  3. Immediately pour into a 9-inch quiche dish coated with cooking spray, tipping quickly until caramelized sugar coats bottom of dish.
  4. Combine 1% milk and remaining ingredients in a food processor and process mixture until smooth. Pour milk mixture over caramelized syrup in dish.
  5. Place dish in a shallow roasting pan and add warm water to pan half way up the quiche dish. Bake at 300°F for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in center of the flan comes out clean.
  6. Remove dish from roasting pan and cool 30 minutes on a wire rack.
  7. Cover flan, and chill at least 4 hours.
  8. Place a plate upside down on top of dish, and invert flan onto plate.
  9. Drizzle any remaining caramelized syrup over the flan.

Nutritional information: Calories: 201; fat: 1.8g; saturated fat: 0.6g; monounsaturated fat: 0.5g; polyunsaturated fat: 0.2g; protein: 5.4g; carbohydrates: 40.1g;  cholesterol: 50mg; sodium: 70mg


Chef RichardChef Richard Plasencia, executive chef at South Miami Hospital, joined Baptist Health South Florida in 2011 for the
opening of West Kendall Baptist Hospital. He is an award-winning chef who is passionate about creating and sharing fresh local and seasonal recipes seasoned with flavor and good health. In addition to an interest in nutrition, Chef Richard has an extensive history in the hospitality industry.

He served as Chef at Town Kitchen & Bar, Jake’s, the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, the Shore Club, Por Fin, and the Conrad Hotel. He also was part of several teams that received the Mobile 4 and 5 star awards, as well as Cioppino being named to America’s Top 50 restaurants by Esquire Magazine 2005, during his time at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Chef Richard Plasencia graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor of Science in culinary arts.

Healthcare that Cares

With internationally renowned centers of excellence, 12 hospitals, more than 27,000 employees, 4,000 physicians and 200 outpatient centers, urgent care facilities and physician practices spanning across Miami-Dade, Monroe, Broward and Palm Beach counties, Baptist Health is an anchor institution of the South Florida communities we serve.

Language Preference / Preferencia de idioma

I want to see the site in English

Continue In English

Quiero ver el sitio en Español

Continuar en español