MUNCH RATING: 4/5
This recipe is from an old issue of Waitrose magazine and you can find the original recipe on the Waitrose website.
CHANGES TO THE RECIPE:
I’ve made it quite a few times now, but I’ve adapted it as I found the pearl barley took quite a long time to cook. So I give it a head start by cooking it in the stock whilst I prepare all the other ingredients (de-bone the chicken, cut up the squash and leeks). I prefer to use crème fraîche rather than cream cheese as I find it a bit too tangy. I’ve also decreased the quantities for some of the ingredients so it will comfortably feed 2 if served on its own, or 4 people if served with something like mash.
I really like this dish as I love butternut squash and the chicken is really tender. The pearl barley releases starch which thickens the sauce and the crème fraîche/cream cheese gives a lovely creaminess.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500g chicken thigh meat (roughly 4 large thighs)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 500g butternut squash (about ½ of a large one), peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
- 1 large leek, washed and thickly sliced
- 750ml hot chicken stock (I used 3 teaspoons of Knorr Chicken Stock granules)
- 75g pearl barley
- 2 heaped Tablespoons ½ fat crème fraîche
- Place the pearl barley in a small saucepan with the hot stock and simmer whilst you prepare the other ingredients.
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Cut each chicken thigh fillet into 4, dust in the flour and brown in the hot oil for 4-5 minutes. Add the squash and leeks, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the hot stock and the parboiled barley. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for another 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly, the chicken is cooked and the barley is tender.
- Stir in the crème fraîche and mix until melted.