As the weather is getting colder, and the days are getting shorter, I find comfort in soup, or stew in this case! You know I believe in whole foods, this is a family fav for my kids. Plus I freeze and they can always grab from the freezer as a mini meal after school.
CHICKEN AND BARLEY STEW
1 1/2 lbs organic, where possible boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 small potatoes, diced
8 cups organic chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine or white wine vinegar
1 cup raw barley
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp fresh sage, minced Fresh parsley, roughly chopped for garnish
Salt and ground black pepper.
Pat chicken thighs dry with a paper towel. Season both sides of each thigh liberally with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a dutch oven or large stew pot over medium high heat.
Add the chicken and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes until golden brown on bottom, remove lid and flip chicken thighs over. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, covered with lid, again until golden brown and cooked through (temperature reaches 165˚F). Remove to a bowl, shred with two forks, and set aside.Drain excess fat out of pan, and when back on heat, pour half of the wine into the pan. Deglaze the pan by scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan (keeping it in the pan!). If necessary, add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Saute onion, carrot and celery in pan over medium high heat and until softened, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant.Deglaze the pan again with the rest of the white wine (or white wine vinegar), scraping up browned bits on the bottom of the pan.Add the potatoes, shredded chicken, barley, chicken broth, thyme, rosemary, and sage to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for about 30 minutes, until chicken and potatoes are tender.