My mom gave G. a box of Quaker medium pearled barley for Christmas a year or so ago, along with a recipe for a manly soup that she thought he should learn to make. He never made the soup.
Eventually, I decided we should do something with the barley. There was a recipe on the back of the box for chicken barley chili. I made it. We liked it. And now, I’ve made it twice in the past two months, even though I haven’t really been cooking much. It’s pretty easy, and it makes a lot so we can have it for dinner and then have the leftovers for lunch.
G. makes the preparation easier on me by getting a rotisserie chicken and cutting it up in pieces. We have a deal in the kitchen. I don’t like to touch raw meat, so he generally cuts it up, and then I cook it. A rotisserie chicken isn’t raw, so in theory, I could cut it up myself. But he seems to be happy being the family butcher.
Chicken Barley Chili
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) tomatoes, diced, undrained (I use frozen tomatoes from our garden and run them through a food processor.)
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa or tomato sauce (I use homemade tomato sauce.)
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) fat-free chicken broth (I omit this and add more water if needed.)
4 cups water
1 cup barley
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed, drained
1 can (15 1/4 ounces) corn, undrained (I use 15 ounces of frozen corn.)
3 cups of chicken, cut into chunks
Combine the first seven ingredients in a stockpot. Bring them to a boil, then cover and turn down the heat. Simmer for 40 minutes.
Add the beans, corn and chicken. Increase the heat until it comes to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the barley is tender.
If it’s too thick, add a little more water. You can serve it with sour cream and shredded cheddar if you like.