This recipe is a great and reminds me when my mum used to make my sister and I vegetable and barley soup ( geat after beong outside in the freezing cold), it’s a great combination, very rustic and simple to do. It’s all about using ingredients that are always available.

X 4 supremes of chicken 120g pearl barley

180g streaky bacon 2 fresh thyme sprigs

1 pt chicken jus/chicken stock 1 chopped onion

30g butter salt and pepper

1 pt chicken stock


Soak the barley in cold water for a couple of hours

Once the barley has been soaked, drain and rinse, put in a pot, cover with stock and cook slowly. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about an hour. When cooked push to one side.

Take the chicken supremes and trim off the excess fat and sinew, season with salt and pepper. Take a hot frying pan, add little oil and colour the chicken supreme evenly, putting onto skin side down and cook in the oven for 7-8 minutes.

Chop the onion fine and pick the thyme leaves.

Cut the bacon into lardons, fry lightly in a fry pan, try not to get too much colour on the bacon, drain well.

Take the onion and sweat lightly in a little butter, add the barley, bacon and thyme leaves, add the chicken jus and bring to the boil, season (if you wanted it slightly spicy you could add either chopped chilli or Tabasco.

The barley mix should resemble a ragout mix, which is a dish where everything is partially cooked and then finished in the sauce (for example Scallops with penne pasta in a ginger sauce. The penne would be cooked and the ginger sauce would be ready, you would add the penne pasta to the boil sauce along with the Scallops, bring back to the boil and serve).

When serving the chicken dish, place the barley mix on the bottom of the dish, add then place the sliced chicken on top and serve with crusty bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

Breakout 1

If you didn’t fancy this dish with the barley, you could use Haricot Blanc (the white bean of our baked beans to you and me!) or you could make it with Puy Lentils, either way all three dishes would be just as delicious.

Breakout 2

Using simpler ingredients, you could make it even more rustic, with creamed mashed potatoes, still using the bacon and the thyme leaves in the sauce

Tip of the week

In order to cooked your chicken, keeping it moist, pan fry your chicken fillets on both sides for between 3-4 minute on each side, taking them off the heat and leave them to rest for 10 minutes which will finish off the cooking.