I found this recipe in the NY Times, and knew from the start that I had to try it. This is one of those dishes that satisfy on many different levels: taste, texture, nutrition, and even curb appeal. I made it easy for myself and used some left-over grilled chicken breast which I cut into bite-sized pieces.
Coconut barley pilaf with corn, chicken, and cashews
12 ounces left-over chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt and pepper
1/2 cup salted, roasted cashews, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced small (about 1 cup)
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
2 cups pearled barley
1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, cilantro, or parsley
Heat olive oil in a large pot, stir in the onions and jalapeno and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until onions are slightly softened. Stir in barley and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute more. Add enough water to coconut milk to yield 2 cups of liquid and add to pot. Bring liquid to a simmer, then cook, covered, over low heat until the barley is almost tender, about 40 minutes.
Stir in the corn. If the mixture looks dry, stir in 1 1/4 cups more water; cover and cook until barley and corn are tender, about 10 minutes more.
Add chicken and cashews to pot and stir well. Fold in herbs and more salt/pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.