The transition from late summer into early autumn can be so subtle at times as the light fades quicker, and the days become cooler. It’s only when a pop of yellow and orange among the green becomes visible and the summer edibles make their last appearance, that it finally hits. And yet, the temperatures will rise again as summer holds on a little longer, grounding us between the seasonal changes.
This transition leaves us with cooler days and the desire for cozy and warming dishes. With mushroom season in full force, it’s nice to have a hearty meal that’s simple to make, luxurious, and utterly satisfying. This one-skillet creamy chicken, mushrooms and barley dish is just that. Barley adds a delightful texture and heartiness against the creamy sauce and earthy mushrooms, while the chicken is juicy and flavorful. A bright salad and fresh vegetables will suit nicely next to it when served.
I love a good dish that bellows out it’s homemade. One that’s simple to make, and leaves a long-lasting impression.
One-Skillet Creamy Chicken, Mushrooms & Barley
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 chicken leg quarters
- 9 ounces (250 g) mushrooms, such as Cremini
- 2 cloves garlic, diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 cup (200 g) quick-cook barley
- 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
- 2 ½ cups (600 ml) chicken stock
In a large skillet, heat the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and sear each side for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden. Remove and set aside. In the same skillet, add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and thyme and cook for 5 to 8 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened and are golden. Add the barley and toast for 1 minute, stirring often. Stir in the heavy cream and stock. Place the chicken thighs on top, cover with a lid, lower the heat and gently simmer for 20 minutes without stirring. Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, shaking the pan once and awhile, for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken and barley are cooked through.
Garnish with thyme and serve immediately.
For more barley inspiration, try this Root Vegetable & Barley Stew.