Rotisserie Chicken Barley Stew

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Chase away the winter chill with this easy weeknight soup recipe from The Uptown Grocer.

Rotisserie Chicken Barley Stew
(serves 10)

3 cups chopped yellow onion
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 cups diced celery
2 cups chopped carrot (1 inch chunks)
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 (2.5 lb.) fryer (colossal size rotisserie chicken)
14 cups water
1.5 cups barley, rinsed and drained
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 bay leaves
2 tsp Worcestershire
1 T salt (then additional salt to taste)
2 tsp white pepper (then additional pepper to taste)

Pull all meat off of chicken and refrigerate. Place chicken bones and skin in a large pot. Cover with 14 cups of cold water. Simmer for 1.5 hours, skimming top as needed. Allow to cool slightly then strain broth. Set broth aside.

Sauté onion in celery in oil until soft and translucent. Add rest of ingredients and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour or until barley is tender. Adjust seasonings and enjoy.

Southern Cracklin Cornbread
(makes one 8 inch iron skillet)

1.5 cups self rising cornmeal mix
1/4 cup flour
2 cups buttermilk
1 egg
2 T butter, melted
2-3 pieces bacon cooked until very crispy, chopped into small pieces
1.5 T bacon grease (takes about 4 pieces to render this amount)

Preheat oven to 450. Cook bacon until extra crispy. Pour off grease into iron skillet. Place skillet in hot oven. Chop bacon finely. Mix flour and corn meal. Add rest of ingredients and pour into hot skillet. Cook for about 20 minutes or until golden. Enjoy!

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