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Seared Chicken with Barley and Mushroom Sauce

March 9, 2010

There’s something about this recipe that’s so simple, but somehow so elegant.  That’s probably because it’s a Jacques

seared chicken with mushroom sauce and barley

Pepin recipe, and he has knack for producing those kinds of recipes- maybe it’s the French in him.

This recipe is really one of those that make you understand how simply seasoned and prepare food can taste great.  There’s very little adornment to the ingredients, but the black pepper and fresh thyme make the entire dish blend.  It came together in less than a hour, and would definitely be a candidate for some making ahead.  I served it with some kale sauteed in garlic and it was the absolute perfect accompaniment.  Don’t even think about serving it with anything else.  Serves 4.


4-8 chicken thighs, with skin and bone (this depends on how many you want to eat- some might eat just 1, others need 2)

1 T olive oil

2 c chicken stock

1 c barley

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 box cremini mushrooms, sliced

1/3 c dry white wine or dry vermouth

1 t chopped fresh thyme


Trim fat from chicken thighs and season both sides generously with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 T olive oil in an oven-proof skillet and add chicken, skin side down.  Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook without moving for 16-18 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.  Remove to a platter and keep warm in a 250 degree oven until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, bring chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan.  Add barley and bring back to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute, then cover and lower heat so barley is simmering.  Cook for 25-30 minutes, until barley is tender but still chewy.  Season with black pepper, and salt if necessary.

While barley is cooking, drain off all but 1-2 T of the chicken fat from the skillet.  Heat over medium heat and add garlic.  Saute for 1 minute, then add mushrooms.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Add wine and cook until reduced by half.  Set aside.

When the barley has finished cooking, spoon a half cup onto a plate.  Place a chicken thigh on top and spoon some mushroom sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme and serve (with kale).

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sharon permalink
    March 12, 2010 9:46 pm

    We had this for dinner tonight. We both loved it. Simple and delish.

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