As has become typical of my shopping trips to Trader Joe’s, a few weeks ago I was feeling very inspired and picked up a package each of the 10-Minute Barley and 10-Minute Farro. Perhaps they reminded me of my recent success with Israeli couscous, but for whatever reason I felt very excited to see what I could make with them.
After a bit of poking around, I came across a recipe for creamy barley with tomatoes, chicken, and spinach. It looked promising, but I thought I’d do a little modifying. Here’s what I started with.
The recipe calls for a couple tablespoons of olive oil, a large onion, 2 c. quick cooking barley, a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, 1 large chicken breast, and 1c. dry white wine. It also calls for spinach, but I decided to substitute kale. We didn’t have a chicken breast on hand, but we did have some frozen shredded chicken leftover from our last batch of brodo, which I ended up throwing in right at the end.
First, coat the bottom of your large saucepan or dutch oven of choice (mine is our Lodge cast iron dutch oven) and over medium heat add your chopped onion and some salt and pepper. Sauté the onion until soft, about 7 minutes.
Once the onion is soft enough, add the barley, tomatoes, and wine. This package of barley was a little less than 2 cups, but it worked out fine. Here is also where you add 2.5 c. water. I substituted about half that amount for some chicken stock, just to add flavor. Bring to a boil and then leave to simmer for 15 minutes or so, or until the barley is tender. If you were using raw chicken, you would add it here as well.
Once the barley tasted cooked, I threw in a few generous handfuls of kale and stirred them in so they would wilt. Here is also where I added the leftover frozen chicken. Once I was satisfied that the chicken was warmed through an the kale was cooked, it was ready to go.
I think we’ve found a new favourite!