Chicken & Barley Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • ~3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced in cubes
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
  • batch of chinese celery (thinner, more tender, mUCH more flavor.), chopped
  • ~1 cup uncooked barley * washed and soaked overnight
  • ~2 cans (15oz) chicken stock
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • garlic salt

*i liked hulled. chewier texture. takes longer to cook though.

note: make sure you cut your veggies to even sizes. always a concern when making soups & stews. you dont want jumbo undercooked pieces of carrot mixed with super soft tiny pieces. also, i think carrots dont get as soggy as sweet potatoes do… so the potato cubes can be a tad bigger.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. trim fat (most of it anyway) from chicken and cube evenly.
  2. heat a 5 qt dutch oven and brown chicken evenly. this sounds gross, but instead of oil, i kind of used a bit of chicken fat to grease the bottom of the pan. smelled soooo good. remove chicken from dutch oven, cover and store in fridge. (dont want that sitting on the counter while you simmer the soup.)
  3. in remaining chicken fat left in the pot, saute onions, celery, carrots until just fragrant. ~3 min. (i actually added sweet potatoes in with the other veggies too, but found them a bit too soft by the time the soup was done.)
  4. spoon a little hole in the middle of the pot, pushing veggies to the side, and add soaked and drained barley. toast ~2 min, mix as needed.
  5. add seasonings. mix well. add a dash of chicken stock and deglaze bottom of pot.
  6. add sweet potatoes and remaining chicken stock. bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. cover and continue simmering ~ 40 min.
  7. raise heat to medium and add chicken. cover and simmer until chicken cooked through.

and as always, soups taste better the next day. (:

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