I am taking my board exam for Physical Therapy October 30, and hope to start working after passing. Therefore, I have had lots of free time. My daily routine consists of waking up with Sam until he leaves for work, then watching the Today show, and studying for 3-4 hours (sometimes going back to sleep is part of that routine since Sam leaves in the hour of 6). I have been filling the rest of my day with a variety of things-running, errands, and most notable, cooking! I have loved getting to plan our meals for the week and trying all sorts of new yummy recipes. Last Friday, we hosted my in-laws over for dinner. It was such a fun night full of yummy food, and lots of laughs. I wanted to make something fresh since summer is almost over-sigh. I decided on Grilled Chicken with Barley Corn Salad that I stumbled upon here. It was so good! I had never cooked with barley before, and I loved the chewy texture it gave the corn salad. Also, I am going to make homemade marinades more often, because this tomato vinaigrette was divine on both the chicken and the salad! The end product was juicy grilled chicken atop a bed of corn, tomato, red onion, avocado, and bacon (yep) that was an explosion of flavor! I was flustered (naturally) and forgot to take a picture of the final product, but it looked very similar to this girls:
YUM! Next, I started to make the tomato vinaigrette to marinate the chicken. The vinaigrette only calls for one tablespoon of red onion, but I went ahead and diced a half of a red onion, because you will need it eventually.
We got a Ninja food processor for a wedding gift and I LOVE it. I had never used a food processor before the wedding, and now I use it all the time (for marinades, pizza sauce, to chop chicken even!).
Just whir it up!
It smells delicious! Next, wash your chicken and sprinkle some salt and pepper on them while still wet. Place 6 tablespoons of your marinade in a ziplock bag and in goes drop 3-4 chicken breasts to soak up the delicious flavor! Place in fridge while you assemble the salad.
I had never used barley before and I now I’m hooked! Not only is it super healthy, it adds a great texture to the salad! Cook 3/4 cup of barley with a pinch of salt according to the box’s instructions. Drain excess water, and place in a big bowl to cool. Once cooled, you can take add 1 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, 2 cups of corn (fresh, frozen then thawed, or canned-I just used canned), chopped bacon, and the remaining red onion.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup medium barley
- 2 cups fresh, frozen-then-thawed, or canned-then-drained corn kernels
- 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup minced red onion
- 4 slices cooked thick or center cut bacon, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped
- salt & pepper
For the Tomato Vinaigrette:
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon red onion
- salt & pepper
1. Cook barley with a pinch of salt according to package directions. Drain when barley is tender. Place into a large bowl to cool slightly.
2. Make the Tomato Vinaigrette: Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor or blender, then process until smooth. Place 6 Tablespoons of the vinaigrette into a plastic bag and set the remaining aside. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt & pepper, then add it to the bag with the vinaigrette and marinate in the refrigerator while you make the Tomato Corn Barley Salad.
3. Stir corn, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and bacon into the cooled barley. Add the remaining tomato vinaigrette to coat and stir well. Gently fold in avocado then season with salt & pepper to taste. Place into the refrigerator.
4. Heat a grill to high and grill chicken for 4-5 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes off the grill, then divide salads onto plates and top with grilled chicken.
Recipe adapated from here.