Braised Chicken Thighs with Lentils and Barley


For the boys, anyway. Uninspired but wanting to get rid of the wad of poorly arranged chicken thighs from my freezer, I skinned them and threw them in the slow cooker with a carrot, celery stalk, red pepper, lots of garlic, chicken stock and a couple handfuls of lentils and barley. The dry beans and grains absorbed almost all the liquid – almost like I planned it that way – but I couldn’t give the ratios here; aim to have the liquid come about halfway up the chicken, make sure the dry stuff is stirred in rather than propped on top, and you’ll be fine.

As for me, well, Chef Giuseppe Di Gennaro from Capo cooked for me tonight. There might have been some other people around too – I didn’t really notice. It was the Avenue Magazine Food Awards, where they revealed the much-anticipated March issue (and Paul is on the cover! Yay Paul! Yay Rouge!) which is famous for its list of the Top 25 Things to Eat in Calgary (by Cinda Chavich) and the city’s best restaurants, by vote. Rouge was named Restaurant of the Year and Capo once again came in as “Worth the Splurge” (it’s worth getting yourself a sugar Daddy – or sugar Momma, whichever the case may be). And so to celebrate, Giuseppe came to make us fresh ravioli:

(I think my knees just went weak typing that. And I’m sitting down.) They were made with fresh pasta of course, stuffed with mascarpone and ricotta and doused in some sort of pure meat heaven reduction. I did get the recipe but I’m not going to even bother relaying because I can’t imagine it could possibly hold a candle to going down there and having them make it for you. And it looks like it requires a lot of dishes.

As for the rest of the list, I could hardly relay it all here – but Avenue hits the stands any day now.


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9 comments on “Braised Chicken Thighs with Lentils and Barley

  1. Jan (Family Bites)
    February 26, 2010 at 8:16 am

    I would give anything to have someone make me some ravioli like that today – the filling and the meat sauce sound devine. I think your own boys did okay too!

  2. Vincci
    February 26, 2010 at 8:34 am

    Looks delicious! (Both the chicken and the ravioli) – I will have to keep my eyes peeled for that Avenue!

  3. Elaine
    February 26, 2010 at 10:59 am

    Having someone make me fresh ravioli could definitely qualify as something I’d want to be “the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed.”

    Sadly, this is not the case. So I make my own. And that last photo is supremely helpful–not sure why the idea of piping the filling onto the dough from a bag never occurred to me before!

  4. Laurie in Burnaby BC
    February 26, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    The chicken and lentils looks divine. I shall invent a recipe for myself from your comments, thank you.

  5. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)
    February 26, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Did you put the chicken in frozen, or defrost first? This looks delicious and it’s just the kind of thing I’ve been making lately. But I’m relatively new to the slow cooker, so I’d probably put the frozen chicken right into it.

  6. bellini valli
    February 27, 2010 at 9:42 am

    I imagine the food scene in Calgary has changed since I lived there in the late 80’s. There have and always will be some exceptional dining experiences.I happened to just be watching television and the show It’s Just Food. It just dawned on me that that is you with Ned Bell:D As you know Ned has one of my favourite dining experiences here at Cabana Bar and Grill.

  7. Barb
    February 27, 2010 at 11:07 am

    It would be fun to spend the afternoon making ravioli or peroghies. I would love to try them.

  8. Laurie in Burnaby BC
    February 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I made dinner last night based on this recipe. I added herbs and onions to the lentils and barley, leaving out the red peppers. I didn’t skin the chicken thighs, but roasted them with the skin on so that it was crispy. I added halved cherry tomatoes, parsley, and chives to the lentils and barley just before serving it. I put a mound in the middle of the plate, put a roasted thigh on top of it, and a side of quickly stir-fried pea pods, brocolli flowerets, and julienned chard. Not only was it delicious and colourful, but I suddenly thought as I was writing it into my recipe file that this would be a good basic recipe for a whole range of meals. It could be curried, or made with hot peppers and hot sauce, or made with lemon, or a whole range of things. Thank you so much, Julie. I love this one.

  9. Brigitte
    March 2, 2010 at 6:57 am

    I made the braised chicken thights for dinner last night; even the picky one enjoyed it! It so nice to have an easy recipe like this one!

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