Monday, January 05, 2009

MMmmmmm... soup.

Glenn Close’s Chicken, Mushroom, and Barley Stew
From In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy

2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth
¾ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup quick-cooking barley
2 large carrots, cut into thin slices
¼ pound mushrooms, cut into thin slices
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bit size pieces
10 cherry tomatoes
1 small bunch scallions (about 6), coarsely chopped

1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Continue cooking and stirring until the flour has completely absorbed the butter.

2. Increase the heat to medium-high, slowly add a small amount of chicken broth, and stir to combine with the butter and flour. When there are no lumps of flour left, it is safe to add the remaining chicken broth. Also add the thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened.

3. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stir in the barley, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for about 3 more minutes.

4. Add the mushrooms, chicken, and whole tomatoes. Return the stew to a boil over medium-high heat, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

5. Stir in the scallions and serve hot.

Serves 4

A few modifications:
I thought about skipping the scallions because it was the one ingredient I'd forgotten, but my dear, sweet, friend Sangeeta brought me some from Hugo's and after tasting the finished stew I realized. They really do add. Don't skip the scallions. :)

I use a little more chicken broth than the recipe calls for (about 28 oz).

I also cook my chicken (usually by boiling it separately then cutting into bite size pieces) before adding it to the stew because I am afraid of it being undercooked. Perhaps this is unnecessary, but it makes me feel better.

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