The Royal Touch: Farro with Winter Vegetables, Herbs and Poached Chicken

For the next five days, we are showcasing different recipes from The Royal Touch, a cookbook by Carolyn Robb, former personal chef to TRH The Prince and Princess of Wales, Prince William and Prince Harry. We are running a contest to win a copy of the cookbook, so keep an eye on our contest page!


2 large shallots

18 baby carrots

150 g or 5½ oz waxy potatoes

200 g or 7 oz butternut

2 sticks of celery

1 leek

30 ml or 2 Tbsp mild olive oil

30 g or 1 oz butter (2 Tbsp)

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

150 ml or ½ cup white wine

600 ml or 2 cups chicken stock

2 chicken breasts (approx 150 g or 5 oz each)

100 g or 3½ oz farro (½ cup)

12 small florets of broccoli


  1. Finely dice the shallots. Top and tail the baby carrots and wash them, but you don’t need to peel them. Dice the potatoes and butternut into small 1 cm (½ inch) cubes. Wash, de-string and slice the celery and chop the leek into thin rings and rinse well
  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Sauté all the vegetables over a high heat for several minutes, stirring well to coat everything in butter. Add the sprigs of thyme
  3. Cover and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes to soften the vegetables. Add the white wine, stock and chicken breasts and cook slowly with the lid on for a further 20 minutes. Remove the chicken and leave it to cool
  4. Add the farro and simmer for 12 – 15 minutes, until it is tender. While this is cooking, dice the chicken
  5. Return the chicken to the pan, add the broccoli and cook everything together slowly for a further 10 minutes (I add the broccoli right at the end so that it maintains a little ‘crunch’ and keeps its bright green colour)
  6. Serve into warmed soup bowls, accompanied by freshly baked Soda Bread (see recipe on page 220) for a wholesome winter’s feast

Tip: If you can make this the day before you need it, the flavours will develop and it will be even more delicious

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