After recovering from a stomach bug, my suddenly renewed appetite had me craving a stew, but I wanted to stay away from anything too rich and hearty.  So I made this, which manages to have the appeal of both chicken soup and a stew at the same time.  It was light, but satisfying, and with each mouthful of veg I knew I was feeding my body back some of the nutrients it had lost over the previous days.  Oh, and it was pretty tasty, too!




4 chicken pieces, skin and bone on (I used a mixture of thighs and drumsticks)

25g barley (pearl or pot – I used pot)

1 leek

2 carrots

2 parsnips

2 celery sticks

1 small onion

Garlic cloves, to taste (I used about 6)

1 sprig of rosemary

A few sprigs of thyme

2 leaves of sage

1 bay leaf (I didn’t have any in stock, but would usually use one)

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

Chicken stock/bouillon

Salt & pepper




Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Put the barley in a saucepan covered with four parts water.  Bring to the boil, and continue to boil for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the veg.  Slice the celery.  Peel and roughly cut the carrots and parsnips into chunks (but don’t cut them too big, otherwise they will take longer to cook than the chicken.)  Cut the onion into about six or so segments, slice the leek into half moons (discard the tough green part) and peel and bash the garlic cloves.

Strip the thyme leaves from the stems, then do the same with the rosemary.  Discard any of the rosemary that feels tough or a bit woody, then finely chop the remainder, along with the sage leaves.

Boil water for your stock.  Arrange the veg in layers, making sure with each to season, sprinkle with some of the paprika, and throw over the herbs.  The barley, however, can all be added to the first layer.  When you get to the last layer, tuck in the garlic cloves and bay leaf.  Spoon over bouillon powder, or if using a stock cube, break it up into small pieces and evenly distribute over the veg.  Pour over enough boiled water to just cover all of the vegetables.

Season the chicken pieces well with salt, pepper, and any paprika you have left over.  Sit the pieces, skin side up, on the vegetables.  Cook in the middle of the oven for about 40-50 minutes, buy which time you should have moist, crispy skinned chicken and vegetables that are just soft enough but still retain some bite.





  1. Glad to hear that you are feeling better – this does seem to be the perfect dish for post illness eating – nourishing and comforting at the same time.

    Also, do you know about the recipe short code? It is really super easy and puts your recipe into a printable box so that your readers don’t end up printing all your text and photos. All you have to do is put in 2 lines of short code, one at the beginning of the recipe and one at the end. It’s also a good idea to bullet point your ingredient list and number your method – both of those tabs are in the tool box above where you write the post. Look up recipe short code in WP support for the details – or email me on selmastable at gmail dot com and I will send you something I did for another blogger. x

    1. Thanks Selma 🙂

  2. This looks like the perfect pick-me up. Warms you from the inside out. Glad you’re feeling better.

  3. I love pot barley and often make a stew with it but stay purely vegetarian. I love the idea of adding a little chicken and will definitely give it a go!


  4. Mine is currently in the oven and smelling amazing! Didn’t have barley so will add rice noodles. So many things on here I want to try, especially your caramel shortbreads. Mmmm

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