Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Spiced Chicken Thighs with Barley

Spiced Chicken Thighs with Barley

I would describe this meal as perfect winter weekend comfort food. Although it wasn't a weekend — or even winter — when I made this, I don't' care. It makes a solid 6 servings, which is essential when I need to feed myself and the boyfriend on Monday and then eat off of the leftovers for three days.

The slightly spicy (and almost sweet) rub with chili powder, cumin, and cinnamon adds smokey flavor to the hearty barley that's spiked with red bell pepper and canned diced tomatoes.

Even though it's a complete meal in and of itself, I still added a romaine salad with a Dijon vinaigrette. The recipe is adapted from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook.

Spiced Chicken Thighs with Barley
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
6 (4 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 (14.25 ounce) cans of less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups uncooked pearl barley
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 tbsp chopped green onions for garnish

Combine first 7 ingredients; rub chicken with half of spice mixture.

Heat oil in a large nonstick saute pan with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from pan.

Add onion and red bell pepper to pan; cook over medium-high heat 3 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned. Stir in soy sauce, broth, barley, tomatoes, and remaining spice mixture.

Add chicken to pan, nestling into vegetable mixture. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes . Uncover; simmer 10 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Let stand 15 minutes. sprinkle with green onion.

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