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Friday, December 30, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken and Barley Stew

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It turns out Ryan and I both love beef and barley soup. He remembers it from his childhood, when he would visit his dad at work and always enjoy a big bowl of it (and a slice of cherry pie!) from the cafeteria. I remember it from college. When the dining hall pickings were slim, I knew I could count on a warm bowl of this to fill me up.

This is not beef and barley soup, this is obviously chicken and barley soup, made because I already had the chicken on hand. However, Ryan and I discussed our love for beef and barley soup, meaning that’ll be making an appearance soon (any favorite recipes to share?).

You know I love crockpot meals, and this was another easy one—just chop, dump, and let it cook away. The recipe said it would take 8-9 hours to cook on low, but ours was more than ready after about 5, so plan accordingly! Simple ingredients, easy preparation, and hands-off cooking…it doesn’t get much better than that!

P.S. This freezes well! Also, I reheated some with some kale in there and it was an excellent addition and easy way to get some extra greens!

Crockpot Chicken and Barley Soup
slightly adapted from Betty Crocker

-3 large carrots, sliced (2 cups)
-2 stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
-1 large onion, chopped
-2 boneless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
-3 cups water
-2 cups chicken broth
-3/4 cup uncooked pearled barley
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
-2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used some dried parsley)
-1 tsp dried thyme leaves

1. Add the carrots, celery, and onion to the bowl of the crockpot. Add chicken, water, broth, barley, pepper, and tomatoes.
2. Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, depending on your crockpot (you want to make sure your chicken is cooked through and your vegetables are tender).
3. Add parsley and thyme to stew just before serving.