Honey Lemon Glazed Chicken and Baked Barley
We are finally home! After a 10 day hospital stay, it is especially nice to be in our comfortable, cozy surroundings. This weekend, we basked in the joy of having our son home with us and have the hospital experience behind us. We feel so blessed and are incredibly happy. I shared some really cute pictures of our baby boy yesterday on Facebook and Instagram, so head on over to check them out if you haven’t seen them yet. While I am recuperating and enjoying my “maternity leave”, I have some really yummy recipes stored up to share with you.
I make roast chicken quite often for dinner. Usually, I make potatoes or rice to serve alongside, but since I’m a big fan of other grains too, barley is another option that I reach for. This time, I decided to bake the barley in the oven and to use chicken thighs instead of a whole chicken. With the usual onion, carrots, celery and garlic flavoring the barley, I also added butternut squash and was so pleased with the results. The honey, lemon and garlic glaze on top of the chicken ties it all together perfectly.
6-8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
salt, ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon oil
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
1 carrot, grated
1 celery stalk, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups pearled barley
2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove grated on microplane
Pictured above are 4 chicken thighs. You will need 6-8 chicken thighs for this recipe. I made half of the recipe, since it was only for my husband and myself.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Trim the chicken thighs from extra fat and pat them dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet on high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down first and brown for about 5-8 minutes, until the skin is golden brown. Turn the chicken over and brown on the other side as well.
The chicken will render out a lot of fat. This is actually a very important step in this recipe. If you add the chicken raw to the baking dish, it will exude a lot of fat and it will all go into the barley. Not very tasty, in my opinion. This way, you will get rid of most of the fat while browning the chicken.
Don’t mess with it, leave it alone in the pan until it’s ready to be turned. Set the chicken aside on another plate. You may have to brown the chicken in 2 batches, or use a large skillet. Discard most of the fat in the skillet, leaving behind 1 Tablespoon. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened. Add the butternut squash, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened. Add the barley and the broth to the skillet.
Bring the broth to a boil and pour the entire barley and vegetable mixture into a 9×13 inch rimmed baking dish. Nestle the chicken on top, skin side up.
As you can see, there is plenty of room for more chicken thighs in the baking dish. I magically have another chicken thigh in there:). Ha ha. Actually, I browned 8 chicken thighs, but used the other 3 for another recipe.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil or a cover and cook in the preheated oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until all the liquid is absorbed. Uncover the baking dish and cook for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Brush the top of the chicken with the glaze and broil the chicken for 3-5 minutes. Brush with more glaze before serving.
- 6-8 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
- salt, ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1½ cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1¼ cups pearled barley
- 2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove grated on microplane
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Trim the chicken thighs from extra fat and pat them dry with a paper towel. Season the chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat the oil in a skillet on high heat. Add the chicken, skin side down first and brown for about 5-8 minutes, until the skin is golden brown. Turn the chicken over and brown on the other side as well.
- The chicken will render out a lot of fat. This is actually a very important step in this recipe. If you add the chicken raw to the baking dish, it will exude a lot of fat and it will all go into the barley. Not very tasty, in my opinion. This way, you will get rid of most of the fat while browning the chicken.
- Don't mess with it, leave it alone in the pan until it's ready to be turned. Set the chicken aside on another plate. You may have to brown the chicken in 2 batches, or use a large skillet.
- Discard most of the fat in the skillet, leaving behind 1 Tablespoon. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened.
- Add the butternut squash, carrots, celery and garlic. Season with salt and ground black pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.
- Add the barley and the broth to the skillet.
- Bring the broth to a boil and pour the entire barley and vegetable mixture into a 9x13 inch rimmed baking dish. Nestle the chicken on top, skin side up.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil or a cover and cook in the preheated oven for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until all the liquid is absorbed.
- Uncover the baking dish and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the glaze ingredients in a small bowl.
- Brush the top of the chicken with the glaze and broil the chicken for 3-5 minutes. Brush with more glaze before serving.
Wow this looks delicious! I love all the ingredients you put in. Definitely need to give your recipe a try 🙂
This looks so delicious I can’t wait to try it. Just one question what kind of barley did you use? (Pearled? Quick cook?)
I hope you like it, Alla.
The barley I use is pearled. You probably didn’t notice, but it’s specified in the list of ingredients.
Olga, do you think I can use farro instead of barley? I have exactly 1 1/4 cups sitting in my cupboard, it would be nice to finally use it up.
I’ve never used farro in this recipe, so I can’t help you out, Galina. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.
This looks so nice and homey. I wonder if I can get my husband to eat barley? 🙂
It’s worth a try, Elizabeth. My husband isn’t a fan of barley usually, but he really enjoyed it in this recipe.
This sounds and looks amazing, Olga! I will definitely try it, I am sure it will be amazing.
Thank you, Tallya.
I hope you like it.
Olga, thank you so much for a great tasting recipe. I was a little worried about butternut squash and barley combination in the dish, because wasn’t sure if family will eat it. But we loved it so much that we are making it again tonight. I always wanted to learn how to make Russian dishes but didn’t really have anyone to teach me, until my friend told me about your site. I am still learning but feel more confident now, since most of the food I make from your site taste so good that it makes me want to keep trying to cook more. Hope you will never stop posting new recipes. Your son looks so adorable on the pictures:). Hope you are feeling better and getting back to good health, we would like to congratulate you with your new addition to the family. Just want to say thank you and may God Bless you and your family for all your hard work.
Thank you so much for such a lovely comment, Oksana. You really made my day. It means so much for me to read such a heartfelt and sweet note.
I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed this dish. I hope you will find many other recipes that will become family favorites.
Katy @ Her Cup of Joy
Wow this is an impressive meal! And it looks very simple. I love how the barley cooks while the chicken finishes baking.
Thank you, Katy. It does look very impressive, but I love how simple and homey this dish is.
This is such a delicious meal! I really wanted to try it with barley but couldn’t find it at the grocery store. So, I tried it with buckwheat instead. I did everything according to the recipe and it turned out amazing! My husband really enjoyed it, as well as I did. We loved how it turned out a lil sweet, and the glaze on the chicken really adds a nice flavor to it. Thank you so much for the recipe, Olga! May God continue blessing your family 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed this, Vera.
Barley is usually sold next to other grains, rice and beans in the grocery store.
I bought drumbsticks by accident 🙁 (right next to the thighs at costco!!). Do you think I will still be able to make this recipe?
Do you think I can use drumbsticks instead of chicken thighs for this recipe?
Yes, Leeza, you can use drumsticks too.
This was amazing!!! Thank you!
You’re welcome, Natallia. I’m so happy to heat that you liked this dish.
I made this a few weeks back and my husband loved it so much that I am making it again today. I used regular barley. Barley is a wonderful and healthy grain, but there are not many recipies where vegetables are incorporated. That’s why this one is a keeper! Chicken thighs are also inexpensive alternative to breast meat and non less delicious.
Thanks for taking the time to write, Darya.
Barley is a favorite of mine and I always add vegetables to everything that I can think of. Not only does it add more nutrients, but I think it tastes so much better too:). I love that chicken thighs are so affordable, and they are so much juicier than breast meat.
Delicious!! Made this last night and it was just perfection! Thank you for the recipe!
That’s wonderful, Vitaliya.
So glad to hear that you enjoyed it.
Hi olga, do you think I could use boneless chickenbreast instead?
You can, but you would need to bake the chicken for a lot less time. Chicken breast, especially boneless, skinless chicken breast cooks very quickly and if you overcook it, it will be dry. It will taste great with chicken breast though:).
Just made this and it’s wow! I take the skin off and skip the glaze, delicious!
Hi, do you soak the barley first or is this not required since the cooking time is so long?
Nope, no need to soak for this recipe, Vanessa.
This is so delicious, that some friends I had served this to before, requested it again! It also put barley on my list of basics for my cooking.
When my son comes for Thanksgiving, I’ll serve it to him.
Thank you so much.
Could you freeze this recipe? I would love to portion it for lunches or quick suppers. Would you freeze it assembled or cook it first?
You probably can freeze it, Amanda, but I haven’t personally tried it.
I personally prefer not to freeze already cooked chicken (unless it all be cooked in another way later – for example, chicken and mushrooms crepes, etc.). I know a lot of people who do that though, so, it might work for you too.
You can also try to assemble the dish and freeze it and then bake it after defrosting it. I’m not sure how it would turn out or if you would need to tweak the recipe to make it work.
I have been making this recipe for like three or four times. And this time I substitute it with the buckwheat. Turned out really yummy as well
I’m so happy to hear that you enjoy this dish, Tanya.
Hi, Olga – Karen back.
I’ve commented before (years ago) how delicious this is, and how friends have even requested it for when we get together.
I wanted you to know that they requested it again, when I offered to make some meals and deliver them to their doorstep while my friend Donna, the mother, is going through her illness with Covid-19. It made a dinner and a lunch for the three of them.
She is doing a little better today but it is a long illness.
How much comfort this recipe provides!
I’m so happy to hear that this dinner has been a comfort. How thoughtful of you to make meals for your friends in such a difficult time. I wish you all the best and pray that your friend recovers quickly.
Do you think I need more chicken broth if I dont use butternut squash? I dont have any butternut squash right now and am making it without it right now. Just seems like i need a little more liquid….
No, you can just omit the butternut squash and keep the same amount of broth.
Ok thank you, it turned out very yummy. I’m making it again today.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Alla.