Fast food: Chicken with herbed pearl barley salad and Hello Fresh

Cooking up a storm in the kitchen is one of the things I love most but quite often on a week night after work I just don’t have the time. My solution has been to try out a few recipe delivery services a couple of nights a week.  This allows me the pleasure of cooking without the hassle of shopping (or planning ahead!) a few nights a week while still leaving me time to indulge in some serious kitchen creation and eating out the rest of the time.  

Herbed pearl barley with chicken
Herbed pearl barley with chicken

I started off trying My Food Bag but have settled on Hello Fresh as my favourite service because it’s a bit cheaper (My Food Bag is $139 for four meals for two versus Hello Fresh at $69 for three meals for two) and I like the basic, healthy recipes which are easy to prepare.  

Using my mortar and pestle to grind up the herbs

There are misses of course.  I’d prefer seafood and vego options to feature more in the boxes and the occasional recipe is not particularly appetising (like the curried mince pie coming up this week) but it’s generally been a real time saver for me and saves me resorting to takeaway or digging around in the freezer.  Some of the recipes are really good and so have become a regular on the menu at Chez Gourmet Chick like this chicken with pearl barley salad.

Cooking the chicken breasts

Pearl barley is one of those ancient grains that we all really should eat more of and this is a quick and easy way of adding it into your diet. But most importantly this meal packs a flavour punch thanks to all the fresh herbs and Greek style salad.  

100g pearl barley
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 cloves garlic
75ml olive oil
1 tomato, diced
1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
50g Kalamata olives, halved

1. Rinse the pearl barley and then add to a large pot of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until the pearl barley is soft but slightly chewy. Drain once cooked and rinse in warm water.
2. Blanch half of the parsley in a cup of boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and dry well. Blend the blanched parsley with the garlic and the olive oil in a mortar and pestle or food processor.
3. Meanwhile, season the chicken with some salt and pepper and heat a pan over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook the chicken fillets for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set aside and slice.
4. Toss the cooked pearl barley with the tomato, cucumber, mint, olives, and remaining parsley. Stir through the parsley oil and season to taste.
5 Divide the pearl barley salad between the plates and top with the sliced grilled chicken.  

Note: This is not a sponsored post (they’re always clearly marked). I buy Hello Fresh independently, but do feel free to use my code – 494W4Y to sign up and try the boxes you get $35 off your first order and I get a discount too.  

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