Monday, February 11, 2013

Chicken Chili with Barley

This name of this recipe is a misleading. It's more like chicken stew with barley. But whatever the name, the result is beyond delicious. It's thick and filling, but incredibly healthy and the flavors are actually pretty unique. The lime and the toppings make this stew/soup/chili feel way more decadent than it actually is. I would potentially use breast meat in the future only because it's a touch healthier and easier because there is less fat to pull off. The leftovers are also incredible and great for lunch.

I'm going to post the original recipe below with my non-spicy notes. As you all know I'm a complete wuss, so I take out anything spicy and add citrus and salt. But either way it's a home run, so you should definitely give this recipe a try!

Chicken Chili with Barley
recipe from here

1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, trimmed and diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 poblano pepper, trimmed and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder (I omitted and instead added a bit of black pepper)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1/2 cup barley
5 cups water
1 can diced green chiles
One 14-ounce can white beans, rinsed
Juice of a lime
Note: If you choose to omit the green chiles and poblano pepper, simply use two large green bell peppers, instead of one.

For serving:
low-fat sour cream
1 avocado, diced
Fresh cilantro leaves
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

I started by chopping the peppers, zucchinis, onion and garlic and saute in some olive oil for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Push the veggies to the side and lay down your chicken. Brown each side of the chicken for a few minutes.
Add the spices and mix everything together. Then add the water and barley. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes.

Remove the chicken and set aside. Pull off the skin and fat and shred the chicken. Add back to the pot, as well as the beans and the chilis if you are using them. Cook for another ten minutes, add the salt and lime and ladle into bowls.

Cut up some avocado and add to the soup with grated cheddar cheese and sour cream. I also squeezed a little more lime on top of mine and another sprinkle of salt because that's what I like. When you stir everything together, it becomes this amazing gooey, cheesy, creamy mixture. Enjoy!

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