Creamy Barley with Chicken and Peas

Remember the Risotto-style Brown Rice I shared a while back? I apply that same technique to cooking barley.  I don’t generally like barley, but the toasty flavor and creamy texture of this is just too good to not like.  I use the same technique to cook the barley as I do the brown rice.  In this recipe, I do start with a little white wine.  Also, make sure you toast the barley well. It should be a beautiful golden brown.


While you’re stirring the barley, roast your chicken in the oven.  Roasting it gives it a nice even browning and a little extra flavor.


When the barley is done, dice the chicken.  Stir in the chicken and some bright green peas.



1 Tablespoon butter

1 cup pearled barley

1/2 cup white wine

3 cups chicken stock (the more flavorful the better)

2 chicken breasts

salt and pepper

1 cup sweet peas

Preheat oven to 350*.

Melt butter in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat.  Add barley and toast.  While barley is toasting, heat chicken stock until it almost boils.  Reduce heat to low and keep stock hot.

When the barley is toasted, reduce heat to low.  Add 1/2 cup wine.  Cook and stir over low heat until all the liquid has been absorbed/evaporated.  Add one ladle of stock (about 1/2 cup) and cook over low heat, stirring almost constantly until almost all the liquid is absorbed/evaporated.  Add another ladle of stock.  Repeat this process until barley is the desired consistency (I added 3 cups of stock a half cup at a time – 6 repetitions).  Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to your liking if necessary.

While preparing the barley, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper.  Put in hot oven and cook for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.  Set aside to rest.

When barley is done, cube chicken.  Add chicken cubes and peas.  Stir over low heat just until peas are heated through.


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