Chicken, Flaked Almond & Sage Buckwheat ‘Risotto’
Buckwheat is a great gluten-free alternative for sensitive stomachs. It's also a very good source of manganese, a mineral that is key for the production of a range of digestive enzymes. Soaking your groats for 2 to 6 hours is important to break down phytic acid, making this seed more digestible and even gentler on the gut. I’ve boosted this dish with vitamin E–rich almonds and woody sage, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent shown to ease the symptoms associated with poor digestion.
200 g (1 cup) buckwheat groats
A splash of unpasteurised apple-cider vinegar
1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken Bone Broth or vegetarian broth, or store-bought stock
2 tablespoons ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
400–450 g (about 2) organic chicken breasts
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
15 g (1⁄3 cup) nutritional yeast flakes
Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
60 ml (2 fl oz/1⁄4 cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the fried Almonds & Sage:
80 ml (1⁄3 cup) ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
50 g (13/4 oz) flaked almonds
4 handfuls sage leaves
Fill a small bowl halfway with warm water. Add the buckwheat groats and vinegar and set aside in a warm place to soak for at least 2 (and up to 6) hours. Drain and rinse.
Preheat the oven at 180°C (350°F/Gas Mark 4).
Combine the buckwheat groats and broth in a medium wide-based saucepan and place over a medium heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes, or until the buckwheat has absorbed almost all of the liquid and is tender and creamy, but still has a slight bite.
Meanwhile, heat the ghee in a medium ovenproof frying pan over a medium–high heat.
Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook, smooth-side down, for 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
Flip the breasts and finish cooking in the oven for 10–15 minutes until golden brown and just cooked through (the juices should run clear when pierced with a knife). Transfer onto a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes.
To prepare the almonds and sage, heat the ghee in a small frying pan over a medium–high heat. Fry them, tossing occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until the almonds turn golden brown and the sage is crisp. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Add the yeast flakes, lemon zest and juice to the saucepan with the risotto and stir to combine.
Slice the chicken breasts and serve on top of the risotto with some fried almonds and sage. Drizzle with the remaining ghee from the pan.