Pearl Barley – Use it with Everything, Especially Chicken

Chicken Pearl Barley

Pearl Barley is a neat little thing, its awesome for many reasons, it holds the flavour of whatever you cook it in a lot better than rice, its really not that expensive, its not difficult to cook and it sounds a load more exotic than it actually is. This basic little recipe is actually a complete winner and its actually pretty healthy too, not just because it uses Kale and fitness gurus are all over that stuff. If you have never cooked Pearl Barley before this is a great little recipe.

This recipe is great for impressing people and despite its small size is incredibly filling, not to mention tasty! You will need an frying pan thats comfortable going into the oven and a decent memory to not grab the handle of the frying pan straight after its come out of the oven, my tip is to leave your tea towel on your handle, though be careful if you have a gas hob.


This recipe serves 4:

2 Chicken Breasts
250g Pearl Barley
2 Chicken Stock Pots
2 Slices Prosciutto
4 Sage Leaves
1.5 Litres of Water
1 Knob Butter
4 Cocktail Sticks
Kale, as much as you’d like to feed 4 people.


1. Pre Heat your oven to 180 Degrees Celcius
2. Put the water in a large pan along with the pearl barley and the stock pots.
3. Bring the water with the Barley and the water to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. This will take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour to cook through properly so dont worry too much.
4. Carefully slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally, as in chicken breast shapes but half as thin.
5. Slice the Prosciutto in half horizontally, so you have squares of it.
6. Place a sage leaf on each of the chicken breast pieces and then place the Prosicutto on top.
7. Secure this in place with cocktail sticks and season each piece well with salt and pepper.
8. Heat your frying pan and melt the butter before adding the chicken breasts to the pan, Prosciutto side up.

9. Fry the Chicken for a good ten minutes, basting each piece with the butter, dont turn them but move them so they dont stick to your pan, which they shouldnt because there’s butter everywhere.
10. Put the pan with the Chicken directly into the oven for 20 minutes.
11. Boil some water.
12. Blanch the Kale by putting the Kale in the boiling water and draining it really quickly.
13. When its time to get the chicken out of the oven you should be at a point where everything is ready to serve.
14. The Pearl Barley should be about ready at this point so serve it. However, dont drain it use a slotted spoon or something that will let some of the juice run out, but you want some of it to keep the dish moist.
15. Put the Chicken and Kale on top and it will look as sexy as ours does!