This week, I completed my AAS degree for “Information Technology — Web Development” all thanks to the Post 9/11 GI Bill. Over the next two semesters, I will be completing a second degree, “Graphic Arts — Interactive Multimedia Production”. One class I really look forward to taking in the Fall is Video Editing I. I have no idea what to expect from the class; of course, my expectation is that I will be able to produce an Oscar worthy movie, but my sights may be a little high.
It has been quite some time since I did a post about cooking. It may be time to sprinkle a few more food related posts in here and there just to keep things interesting, and now because I will be taking a video class, I plan to make videos to work with the recipes. Of course I do not plan to do this in earnest until after I have been taught the process, but to see where my movie making skill level lies, I filmed and produced the companion video for this post. I hope you enjoy the soup and the video (yes, I know, I do need to get much better making videos!)
So, get ready to make some soup!
This chicken and barley recipe is easy to make, but it can be a little time consuming. The preparation and ripping the chicken is what will take the most time, about 20 minutes of actual work that must occur during the two hours of cooking.
First, you need about 10 skinless chicken thighs — yes, you can use any portion of the chicken you wish, but I prefer thighs — they cook up more tender, and they have flavor that breast meat doesn’t have. If you buy the chicken without the skin, that will seriously cut down on the preparation time.
Chop a medium onion. Split 3 large celery stalks lengthwise and cut into thirds. Measure out 2 large handfuls of baby carrots. Set aside.
After you take the chicken from the package, remove the skin and any large chunks of fat, then rinse off the meat. Place a 6 to 8 quart pan on the stove; set the heat to medium high. Let the pan get hot before adding half of the chicken. After adding the chicken to the pan — gotta love that sizzle — add one to two cloves of minced garlic and pepper to taste. This is the only time you will add garlic. Let the chicken cook for about 4 minutes, then turn it over and cook for about 4 minutes more. Once that time is up, remove the chicken from the pan and place on a plate; repeat for the remaining pieces of chicken (remember, add pepper, don’t add more garlic).
Once all the chicken is removed from the pan, add one cup of water, 64 ounces of chicken broth, the chopped onion, celery and carrots; turn up the heat because we need to get this up to a boil.
Once the broth is up to a rolling boil, carefully add the chicken and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook for 40 minutes.
After the 40 minutes, remove the pieces of chicken and set aside to cool; likewise, remove the vegetables and set them aside to cool. Turn up the heat to once again bring the broth to a boil; add 3/4 cup of barley and reduce the heat to a simmer; let the barley cook for 40 minutes.
After about 25 minutes, the chicken and vegetables should be cool to the touch. It is time to grip and rip the chicken. You want to tear the meat into shreds; you do not need a knife for this! Once all of the meat is separated from the bone and shredded, it is time to coarsely chop the celery and carrots. Set both the chicken and vegetables aside until the barley is cooked.
Now, add the shredded chicken and coarsely chopped vegetables back to the barley laiden broth. Stir in 1/4 cup of chopped parsley and let the soup simmer, covered, for about 5 more minutes.
It is now time to eat!
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