Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chicken and Barley Pilaf

I  originally saw a recipe for Barley Pilaf in an issue Everyday Food while waiting at the dentist office. I added chicken to bump up the protein and it turned out delicious! Don't forget to rinse your barley before using.

Chicken and Barley Pilaf
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

1 ½ cups pearl barley
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
Zest and juice from 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pearl barley until tender but still al dente, about 35 minutes. Drain in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Return barley to the warm pot.

Meanwhile, pat the chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and cook 5 minutes per side or until chicken is browned. Transfer skillet to oven and continue cooking for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and rest 10 minutes before slicing into bite size pieces.

While the chicken is resting, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until the shallot is soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the shallot mixture to the drained barley and stir in pine nuts, parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer barley mixture to a large serving bowl, add chicken and stir to combine. May be served hot, warm or at room temperature.

Serves 2