Ever felt that making a roast, especially for one or two people is just a bit too much of an ask following a heavy Saturday? Well, this recipe might just be a happy medium, with relatively less stress and preparation required in order to get a plate of warming, tasty roasted chicken at a reasonable price (should you have some of the ingredients to hand of course).
2 Chicken quarters (available at a pretty cheap price at most supermarkets or butchers – make sure they have the drumstick and thigh on)
1.5 to 2 pints of Chicken or Vegetable stock
1 large Courgette (15-20cm long)
2 Sticks of celery
75-100g Pearl Barley
300g of Black Eyed Beans
3 medium sized Cloves of Garlic
1 medium sized White Onion
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil
Salt and Pepper to season
1. Thinly slice the onion and garlic, fry them in a pan until turning slightly brown with the chicken quarters, score the chicken skin slightly diagonally across the quarters 3 times. Whilst the chicken is frying, in a saucepan bring the chicken stock to the boil and add the pearl barley to the stock and simmer for 45 minutes (picture 2).
2. Strip away some of the lime and lemon peel using a zester or grater, put this to one side. Cut the lemon and lime in half or quarters and place around the chicken quarters in foil (see picture 1). Make sure to add the garlic/onion too, wrap the foil up into a packet with a small vent to allow some steam to escape. Place this on a baking tray in the oven at 225 degrees Celsius or gas mark 7 for 30 minutes.
3. Chop the courgette, celery and drain the black eyed beans (if from a can, if cooking from dried, ensure that you follow the instructions to soak and then cook as appropriate). Add these to the stock and pearl barley (picture 3), top up with a little water if needed and simmer for 10-15 minutes with the zest of the lemon and lime from step 2. The barley, beans and vegetables should be in a very thick sauce at this point to ensure the entire dish remains moist.
4. To finish the chicken, open the foil and remove the lemon and lime and allow the chicken skin to crisp up – this should take 10-15 mins or so.
5. Make a bed of the barley, beans and vegetables, place the chicken over the top and season lightly.