Autumn is here in all it’s colourful glory; and I’m celebrating the plants that come along with it. Leeks and carrots are in season now until spring, try and source locally if you can! This casserole is so easy to prepare & can be made either in a slow cooker or on the hob. It’s warm and satisfying comfort food, without being heavy. I’ve used pearl barley but you could try a different grain such as bulghur wheat. Or for a vegan alternative, omit the chicken and add either white beans or serve with seitan. Also suitable for freezing!
On the hob:
Dice an onion & 2 cloves of garlic and sweat in 1 tbsp of oil. Brown 6 chicken thighs (boneless & skinless) on each side, remove & set aside. Chop 2 leeks and add to the pan. Slice 2 carrots and add.
Next add 1 litre of veg stock and 250g pearl barley. Return the chicken to the pan. Add salt & pepper, and 1 bunch of fresh thyme. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a slow cooker:
1 diced onion & 2 cloves of garlic, 2 sliced leeks, 4 sliced carrots, 6 chicken thighs (boneless & skinless), 1 litre of veg stock, 250g pearl barley, salt, pepper & fresh thyme. Put everything in the slower cooker and leave on low for 7-8 hours.