Toasted Barley and Chicken Pilaf

From Good Housekeeping

When barley is added to the mix, comfort food gets a dose of heart-healthy whole grain, as well as a toasty, nutty flavor. Serve this one-pot meal with a simple green salad and, voila, dinner is done.

Serves: 4
Yields: 8 cups

Total Time: 1 hr 20 min

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 1 hr 10 min


  • 1 1/2 cup(s) pearl barley
  • 3 teaspoon(s) olive oil
  • 4  (about 1 pound) skinless, boneless chicken thighs , cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalk(s) celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 package(s) (8-ounce) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can(s) (14- to 14 1/2-ounce) chicken broth, (1 3/4 cups)
  • 2 cup(s) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Parsley leaves, for garnish


  1. Heat deep nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add barley and cook 4 to 6 minutes or until toasted and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Transfer barley to large bowl.
  2. In same skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken and cook about 5 minutes or just until it loses its pink color on the outside, stirring occasionally. Transfer chicken to bowl with barley.
  3. In same skillet, in remaining 1 teaspoon oil, cook carrots, celery, and onion over medium heat 7 to 8 minutes or until tender-crisp. Stir in mushrooms and cook about 10 minutes longer or until most of liquid evaporates and vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
  4. Return chicken and barley to skillet; stir in broth, water, thyme, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 30 to 35 minutes or until barley is tender and chicken is no longer pink in center. Serve pilaf garnished with parsley leaves.
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