Chicken and barley vegetable stew

It’s been a while since I last posted something. The new milestone in my eldest child’s education has me knackered and low on creative juices. And she is only at primary/elementary/grade school. What do they do with kids these days??? Sheesh.

So naturally, I crave comfort food these days. A stew, slow cooked in a heavy cast iron pot does the trick. And it really doesn’t take much brain juice to make a decent stew, one that had my kids lapping it all up and asking for more, and the adults relishing each morsel of gravy drenched steamed rice that accompanied the stew.

Recipe (enough to feed 5-6 pax)

3 chicken drumsticks and 3 thighs
1 carrot chopped into large chunks
2 medium sized onions cut into wedges
3 cloves of garlic, smashed
3-4 potatoes, cut into large chunks
Handful of cauliflower
Handful of sugar snap peas or mangetout,
Half a cup of frozen corn kernels,
Half a cup of pearl barley
Oyster sauce
Light soy sauce

I browned the onions and garlic then seared the chicken. Prior to cooking, I marinated the chicken pieces with some salt and pepper. Once the chicken is a little brown, I added the hardier vegetables like the carrots and potatoes, pumpkin and barley, followed by some water and the sauces. I adjusted the sauce and water level as I went along. I left that to boil for about 10min before bringing it to simmer with the lid on for the next 30min, stirring occasionally. Just before turning off the heat, I added the corn, cauliflower and mangetout, brought it to a boil then turned off the heat. By now, the potatoes and pumpkin would have disintegrated somewhat to yield a thick gravy. If you prefer a thinner gravy, you can thin it out with some chicken stock or water. If you like to still be able to eat the potato chunks, I suggest saving half of the potatoes to be added only towards the last 15mins.

If you want something tangier, add tomato wedges at the end together with the mangetout and cauliflower. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Paired with hot steamed rice or soak up the gravy with some crusty bread….mm…mm…mmm. Food for the soul.




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