Chicken and Pearl Barley Casserole

Posted By Kerri

A recent cupboard audit unearthed a number of long-forgotten ingredients, including pearl barley which we used in a risotto last year. I don’t have very fond memories of it which probably explains why the rest of the bag has languished in our “pantry” (or, very small cupboard) ever since.

Not wanting to throw it away, I decided to combine it with the chicken I recently butchered and make a casserole. Sadly however, I don’t think I’ll have very fond memories of this either. Despite the flavour of the casserole being good, I can’t get past the rubbery texture of the barley. Stephen enjoyed it though and, although I persevered for a while, I gave up in the end and had cheese on toast instead.

I’d already made a note of the recipe before I tasted it so I’ve included it below, I doubt I’ll make it again though but perhaps my mum might need some instruction on how to use up the rest of the bag of barley I intend to pass on to her next time I see her.

Chicken and Barley Casserole
Serves Two

Chicken pieces with bones (we used two thighs and two legs)
3 tablespoons flour (2 tablespoons to be mixed with the salt and pepper to make the seasoned flour, 1 tablespoon to be stirred in before the chicken is returned to the pan)
Salt and pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, diced
2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
Bay leaf
250ml chicken stock
75ml vermouth (or white wine, if you have it. I had it but wanted to drink it)
150g barley
Button mushrooms (I had half a packet of these left over from Saturday’s pie)

Coat the chicken in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil and brown chicken on all sides – about 10 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a clean plate and add more oil to the pan if necessary.

Add the onions, celery, carrot, garlic and bay leaf and cook slowly until soft – about 10 minutes.

Add the herbs and cook for two minutes.

Stir in the excess flour and cook out for a couple of minutes. Return the chicken to the pan, deglaze with the vermouth and add the stock, the barley and the mushrooms.

Season, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for one.

Check for seasoning and serve.

Mar 9th, 2010

7 Comments to 'Chicken and Pearl Barley Casserole'

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  1. LexEat! said,

    Ooh I love barley in stews and casseroles – this looks delicious!
    .-= LexEat!´s last blog ..A week in Buenos Aires, Argentina =-.

  2. Phil Dean said,

    You should cook the pearl barley for longer and over a low heat. It goes very soft and loses the rubbery texture. I think it needs about 20-25 mins – it goes like risotto rice and has a slight bite.
    .-= Phil Dean´s last blog ..Sunday afternoon and The Stansfield Arms =-.

  3. Gareth said,

    Pearl Barley works well in Cawl.

  4. Stephen said,

    I quite liked this – it was rather like barley risotto. I do like barley though, haven’t had it for a while so it was really good to have some again.

  5. Alex said,

    Ooh, chuck the rest of your bag my way! I love pearl barley and it’s that rubbery / chewy texture that makes me love it, I go through a few bags in the Winter using it for lunchtime soups.
    .-= Alex´s last blog ..Tea Towel Sewing Machine Cover =-.

  6. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Lex!

    I cooked this for over an hour at a low heat, Phil. Too long perhaps?

    I’ve never tried cawl, Gareth. Maybe my mum can give it a go with the rest of the bag!

    You’d be welcome to it, Alex, I’m sure my mum isn’t particularly thrilled at receiving yet more leftovers!

  7. Maggie said,

    If this stew was so horrible why would you want to inflict it on others? Just a thought.

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