Sunday, August 10, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Stew

Last Thursday was one of those crazy days, starting with water volleyball at 6:45 AM, ending with knitting with friends at an alpaca rescue ranch and fiber shop, and filled with all sorts of errands in the middle of the day. Thank goodness for slow cookers!  I decided to make Chicken Barley Stew. This recipe is extremely quick and easy to get into the cooker, fills the house with yummy smells, and tastes wonderful. On top of all that, it's a pretty healthy dish. The longest part of the prep will be the vegetables, so chop quickly - or even dice the veggies ahead of time and keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until you want to use it.

Slow Cooker Chicken Barley Stew
Makes 2 - 4 servings

2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup pearled barley
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon ground dried thyme
2 stalks celery, diced, including leafy tops
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small sweet onion, peeled and diced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Optional Ingredients:
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup green or wax beans, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 cup corn niblets, fresh, frozen, or canned
1 small rutabaga or turnip, peeled and diced
1 medium Yukon or Russet potato, peeled and diced
any other vegetable that won't turn mushy being cooked all day

  1. Place the chicken broth, barley, and chicken breasts in a slow cooker
  2. Sprinkle white pepper and thyme on top
  3. Add celery, carrots, onion, tomato, garlic, and any other vegetables you'd like to use
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for about 8 hours

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