Chicken salad and Greek salad are two of my favorites. I knew I had a winner when I saw this recipe on my Cooking Light calendar. I was not sure if everyone in my house would love it, but to my surprise everyone did. So here you are a quick, easy, flavorful, and healthy salad that your family will enjoy. Don’t be leery of the barley if you have never used it before. It is so similar to pasta or rice in texture. Barley is also an excellent source of soluble fiber that is good for digestion and a great source of potassium which helps to lower blood pressure. Hope that all of you are enjoying your week. I’m off this week for a winter break. While some of my friends are enjoying Disney World, I’m just enjoying Villa Rica!
Greek Chicken and Barley Salad from Cooking Light
Yield: 8 servings
- 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 cups chicken broth, divided
- 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
- 2 cups cubed seeded cucumber
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup cubed yellow bell pepper
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
Just a side note here: I followed these directions for cooking the chicken breasts, but feel that you could cook them any way you wanted grilled, poached, or just use about 2 cups of rotisserie chicken. I saw no difference in the cooking method.
- Sprinkle chicken with 1/8 teaspoon salt.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken and cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned.
- Add 1 cup of broth; cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until done. Cool.
- Shred chicken. Discard broth.
- Bring 3 cups broth to boil in a large saucepan; add barley.
- Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
- Fluff with a fork. Cool.
- Combine chicken, barley cucumber, tomatoes, bell pepper, feta cheese, and olives.
- For dressing, combine 3 tablespoons oil and remaining ingredients. Stir well.
- Add to the chicken and barley mixture. Toss well.
- Cover and chill.