Chicken, tarragon and barley casserole

  • Serves 4
  • Takes 10 minutes to make, 30 minutes to cook
  • Easy
Chicken cooks quickly in a pressure cooker, while staying beautifully moist. The addition of pearl barley gives this creamy, flavoursome stew plenty of body and texture.

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories532kcals
  • Fat22.3g (7g saturated)
  • Protein40.8g
  • Carbohydrates40.5g (2.8g sugars)
  • Salt1.3g

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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 15g plain flour
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 125g pearl barley
  • 125ml dry white wine
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Heat the oil in the uncovered pan of the pressure cooker over a medium heat. Toss the chicken in the flour with some seasoning, then brown for 4 minutes until golden all over. Remove and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, celery and garlic to the pan, then toss for a few minutes. Stir in the barley, wine, stock, mustard and zest, then return the chicken to the pan.
  3. Put the lid on the pan to bring it up to pressure. Once it reaches the correct pressure, turn down the heat and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Reduce the pressure by using the quick-release method (see manufacturer’s instructions), then remove the lid. Stir through the crème fraîche and tarragon, then heat through without the lid for a few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.
  • To cook in a conventional oven: make in a flameproof casserole, follow the first 2 steps, but add 300ml more liquid, such as chicken stock, in step 2, then cook for 45 minutes in a 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 oven.
  • To freeze: place in a sealable plastic container. Defrost fully before reheating until piping hot, either in the oven or on the hob. Fresh garnishes and dumplings don’t freeze well, so make or add these on the day of eating.

From February 2011

Main Ingredients:

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