Cider-braised chicken thighs with pearl barley, bacon, carrots and peas
- September 2015
- Serves 4
- hands-on time 20, simmering time 40
September sees the ripening and falling of cider apples. Here Debbie Major shares her traditionally British, cider-braised recipe.
- 23.8g (8.7g saturated)
- 54.4g (10.5g sugars)
- 8 free-range chicken thighs
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 125g British free-range streaky bacon, rind removed if necessary, chopped
- 4 fat garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 200g pearl barley
- 300ml dry cider, plus an extra splash
- 300ml fresh chicken stock
- 250g small carrots, such as chantenay
- 25g butter
- 250g small leeks, sliced
- 250g frozen peas
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Trim and discard the excess skin from underneath each chicken thigh, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a wide shallow frying pan or sauté pan with a lid, put the thighs in the pan skin-side down, then leave to brown for 5 minutes. Flip them over and brown lightly on the other side, then lift onto a plate and drain away any excess fat, leaving just a little in the pan.
- Fry the bacon until lightly golden. Add the garlic and stir briefly, then stir in the pearl barley, cider and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Return the chicken thighs skin-side up, cover, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the carrots, cover and cook for 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, melt the butter in another pan. Add the leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften.
- Uncover the chicken, stir in the leeks and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Add the peas and simmer for another 5 minutes until the chicken, pearl barley and vegetables are tender and the liquid has reduced nicely. Add a splash of cider, taste and add a little more if needed. Scatter over the parsley, squeeze over the lemon and serve.
Make up to 24 hours in advance. Keep covered in the fridge until ready to use. Bring to room temperature before heating up over a low-medium heat.
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