In The Kitchen: Chef Leticia cooking up chicken barley stew

In the Kitchen

Bringing fun, healthy Latin flair to busy kitchens. Chef and Cookbook Author Leticia Moreinos Schwartz debuts new book, “Latin Superfoods: 100 Simple, Delicious, and Energizing Recipes for Total Health.”

Chicken Barley Stew


1 cup pearl barley

8 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon oregano

Pinch ground nutmeg

1 large white onion, finely chopped

4 plum tomatoes, skinned, seeded and chopped

¼ teaspoon paprika

2 lbs cremini mushrooms, quartered

1 ½ cup chicken broth

Thyme for garnish


1- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and barley and cover partway. Cook over medium heat until barley is nice and tender, about 35 minutes. Drain over a colander and discard the water.

2- Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.

3- In a large braising pan (with deep sides) warm the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken pieces, skin side down and cook until nicely golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken tights into a bowl and cover with aluminum foil to keep moist.

4- Lower the heat and remove chicken fat if too much has accumulated.

5- Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until it just begins to turn golden.

6- Add the oregano and nutmeg and stir.

7- Add the onion, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon until everything is soft and translucent. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

8- Add the tomatoes and paprika and continue cooking until everything smells delicious and it looks like a gorgeous sofrito.

9- Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, about 5 minutes stirring frequently.

10- Add the chicken and any accumulated juices and mix, very carefully, everything on the pan so that flavors can meld together, for 5 minutes.

11- Add the broth and bring to a boil. At this point you want to taste and adjust seasoning. Cover the pan and simmer very gently on top of the stove, over low heat for a good 20 minutes.

12- Add the barley, mix carefully with a wooden spoon and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. Garnish with thyme, divide into plates and serve hot.

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