When I’m eating chicken, I generally try to add some sort of bean or lentil to it in order to increase the fibre and carbohydrate content of the meal. Simply eating chicken in a sandwich or with potatoes rarely provides you with enough fibre to satisfy you for long which is not great in terms of your healthy eating plan.
I’ve really got into barley this winter. Its so easy to add to soups and stews to bulk or thicken them – similar to what you do with potato but barely is considered a wholegrain. This dish can be cooked in the one pot and can be served by itself with a sprinkling of chopped parsley or coriander.
Serves 4 for a healthy meal.
- 4 chicken thighs
- 100g yellow split peas (or lentils)
- 150g/ pearl barely
- 1 litre of chicken stock (see health tip
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 medium leeks
- 6 springs of thyme
- 4 medium carrots
- 4 small handfuls of Kale, about 50g/2oz (left over from last week!)
- A little peanut oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place the barely and split peas to soak in a little water while you are preparing all of the ingredients.
- Heat a little peanut oil in a large pan and place 2 chicken thighs in at a time, sealing on all sides. The oil is ready when you hear a sizzle when you place the chicken in.
- Place the sealed chicken in a bowl to the side.
- Add the chopped onions and a little water and cook for 5 mins. Then add leeks and cook for another 5 mins. I usually stir quiet well so I can capture any bits of browned meat on the bottom of the pan.
- Drain and give a good wash to the soaking barley and split peas.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the onions and leeks, including the sealed chicken, carrots, thyme, barley, split peas, pepper and chicken stock.
- Bring to boil and then allow to simmer for around 40 mins or until the split peas are cooked.
- Just before serving add the kale, stir through and season with a little salt and pepper if needed.
- Wheat free, dairy free and sugar free