1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 3/4 cups pearled barley
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped tarragon
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
How to Make It
In a shallow bowl, combine the flour with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken in the flour; shake off the excess.
In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add half of the chicken and cook over moderately high heat until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a bowl. Brown the remaining chicken in 2 more tablespoons of the oil.
Pour off the fat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the carrots to the casserole and cook over moderate heat for 3 minutes. Add the celery, leek and garlic and cook until starting to soften, 2 minutes. Add a large pinch each of salt and pepper and the barley. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the barley starts to toast, 1 minute. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the barley is almost tender, about 20 minutes.
Return the chicken to the stew; cover and simmer until cooked through and the stew has thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the dill and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the stew into bowls, sprinkle with the tarragon and cheese and serve.
Oh Boy!!! Has no one made this yet??? Make it! Really! It is great! One of my family's favorite stews!!! It is super simple and takes less than an hour to throw together. And it is comfort food at it's best! I do skip the dill because I don't like it, but everything else remains as written. Depending on the barley I have on hand, sometimes it is quick cooking, I add toward the end to keep the barley chewy and not soggy. A Keeper!!!!
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