When the weekend comes around, most people I know want to go out and get drinks, have dinner at a restaurant, see a movie, you name it- anything but stay home and cook dinner. I, however, look forward to cooking. I can’t wait to come, change in to comfy closes and attack my newest recipe. The weekends also offer me an opportunity to tackle especially complex, detailed, or time consuming recipes. The funny thing is, the longer, and harder the dish, the more I enjoy the process- especially on a weekend night.
This recipe isn’t that complex, the steps are really easy, it just takes a little time to cook because there is some preparation and then the mix has to simmer for a while. It was definitely worth the time! I was drawn to the dish because of the barley. I don’t know that I’ve had barley before and I don’t really know about pilaf, but I am trying to expand my starch inventory. I love pasta and could eat it almost every night, but I know it’s not the best thing for trying to be healthy (even though I use wheat pasta) and my bf isn’t as obsessed with it as I. Barley also has really amazing fiber which is always a good thing. I got the recipe here. http://www.delish.com/recipefinder/toasted-barley-chicken-pilaf-ghk-0107
I think I may have mentioned before that I am a ridiculously organized chef. I always take all the ingredients out first, chop everything up, and then start cooking. I find it much more relaxing when I can just put the ingredients in when the time is right, rather than scrambling to get everything prepared as I go. So I chopped up the onion, carrots and celery before I started cooking.
I also cut up the raw chicken. My bf wasn’t here so I had to do it myself, which you know I hate!
I then toasted the barley for a few minutes and put the barley in a bowl.
Next, I heated up some olive oil and cooked the chicken for a few minutes until the outsides were no longer pink. I then put the chicken in the bowl with the barley.
I added some more olive oil to the skillet and added the chopped veggies. I cooked the veggies for about 7 minutes. At this point, the recipe calls for sliced mushrooms. I love raw mushrooms, but can’t stand the texture of cooked mushrooms, so I left out this ingredient. So I cooked the vegetables for another five minutes or so, until almost all the liquid had evaporated.
I then added the chicken, barley, chicken stock, water, thyme, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. I brought the mix to a boil, then simmered for 30-35 minutes.
The final result was amazing. It was this incredible thick soup, almost like a stew, with incredible flavors. This would be such an incredible winter dish when it is cold and stormy outside.