Parmesan chicken thighs with zucchini and pearl barley

Barley is one of those wonderful grains that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. With a chewy texture and nutty flavor, barley is a delicious whole grain that can be used in a number of ways.  It is also a very nutritious and healthy food, with lots of fiber and a number of trace minerals like selenium, manganese and phosphorus.

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

chicken thighs
garlic powder
cumin
paprika
salt and ground black pepper
olive oil
butter
garlic
parmesan
red pepper flakes
chives

For the salad
pearl barley
zucchini
red onion
lemon juice
olives
parslay

METHOD

For the salad:  Take a medium saucepan, add the water, barley and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook, covered for 25 – 30 minutes. Add more water if the pan becomes dry. Barley should be chewy, not soft. When done, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan over medium-heat, add the oil; add the onion and garlic and stir-fry for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and stir-fry for another 5 minutes. Remove and stir into the barley. Tip in the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. Drizzle with dressing.

For the chicken:  In a small bowl, add garlic powder, ground cumin, salt, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and black pepper. Mix the spices together. Set aside.
Pat the chicken thighs dry and sprinkle with spice mixture. Gently rub the mixture into the thighs.

Heat a large cast iron skillet or saucepan to medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and then place chicken thighs into the pan. (you want to hear the sizzle) Fry on the first side for 5-6 minutes. Flip the chicken, turn the heat down to medium and cook the chicken for 8-10 minutes. Until you don’t see any pink.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set on a plate.

Turn the heat down to low and add the butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and the garlic. Using a spoon or a whisk, scrape all the goodies off the bottom of the pan. Stir until garlic is fragrant and butter is melted.

Add the parmesan, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Give it a good whisk and place the chicken back in the pan; cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

To serve, drizzle the chicken with the pan sauces and garnish with the chives.

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