It seems like recently I’ve had a lot of people ask me if I ever get tired of cooking.
I usually answer ‘no’ by default. Do you do that with certain questions? I do it really bad with my age, for some reason I can never remember how old I am and I don’t know why. It’s not like I haven’t been the same age for months but I just go blank when I have to answer. Another one that always has me answering before I’ve even considered is “Does this look okay?” Automatically my mouth forms a yes and I blurt it out before thinking, but I know this one is definitely not just me. I think it’s an instinct that’s ingrained in the DNA of all things male to do the same. It must be, otherwise the human race would have died off years ago due to the extinction of husbands worldwide. Just sayin’.
When it comes to how I really feel about being in the kitchen all the time, the truth is that I usually don’t get sick of it. However there are definitely days that have me dragging through a project and dreaming of doing anything else. These days are pretty rare, but just like anyone else, I do get tired of cooking on occasion.
On those days I gravitate towards simple, fast dinners and my favorites mostly consist of things that produce very few dishes. One-pot meals are my salvation in these instances because they can go so far. Usually it’s a soup ’cause, not to brag, but a few years of cooking for a crowd and I’ve got mad soup skills. But a soup still requires a good stock base and I always make it from scratch the old fashioned way which adds a few steps and dishes. That’s what I love so much about this recipe. It makes its own broth while it cooks.
I mean, haven’t you ever wanted to throw a bunch of stuff in a pot, press a button, and hope for the best. Well, this may require a little bit longer and a few more brain cells than that, but basically that’s what you’re gonna do. You brown the meat a bit, start the barley going while you prep the veggies and heat the oven, then put it all together and shove it into el horno, and voila!
In fact, it’s so simple once you’ve got it in the oven that you may get bored waiting for it, Okay, maybe I’m the only person who would see this as a negative because I’m a weirdo, but I love that it’s a great opportunity for me to do some very needed kitchen cleaning or recipe editing. You can feel free to go read a novel or paint your nails instead. Oh, there’s no need to applaud me that much guys, really it was nothing, you’re welcome, you’re welcome. *bowing and curtsying multiple times* What was that, I’m amazing? Why, thank you!
In all seriousness though, you really need to make this. I can’t tell you how cool it is that my family has gone on and on about a meal that was so easy for me. Since I live down here it’s perfect for the end of the winter season for me, but it would also be great for the beginning of autumn and those chilly weeknights that you weren’t expecting yet. Did I mention that it only takes one pot! Solo uno!
- 8 medium skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 1/2 cups uncooked pearl barley
- 4 large carrots, sliced
- 1 large head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1/2 head garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 - 5 fresh thyme branches
- Place a large dutch oven or oven-proof pot with a lid over medium-high heat and add oil. Lay as many thigh pieces as will fit in the bottom of pot and cook on each side until lightly braised, about 2 minutes per side. Remove to a foil lined tray and cook remaining pieces then remove.
- Now fill pot with a few inches of water and bring to a boil and preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Add barley to pot, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes until partially cooked. (this is a good time to chop and prep your veggies).
- Add remaining ingredients to pot with barley and stir together until well mixed. Scoot the contents of pot to the side as much as possible and lay half of the thighs in pot. Now scoop everything over place remaining pieces on top and surround with barley/veggies (the idea is to get chicken as evenly spaced as you can.
- Fill pot with enough water to cover everything most of the way, cover with lid, and place in the oven to roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour until the liquid is absorbed.
recipe inspired by HalfBakedHarvest