- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 boneless chicken legs
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 150g button mushrooms
- 500ml boiling water
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 150g pearl barley
- 200g asparagus
- A handful of wild garlic
- 1 lemon
1. Peel the onion and thinly slice it. Scrub and dice the carrot. Peel and thinly slice the garlic.
2. Pour 1 tbsp olive oil into a large, heavy-based pan or shallow casserole dish and warm to a high heat. Rub the chicken legs with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot pan and fry for 2-3 mins on each side, till lightly coloured all over. Transfer to a plate.
3. Add an additional 1 tbsp oil to the pan if needed and reduce the heat to medium. Slide in the onion and carrot. Tumble in the whole button mushrooms. Fry for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic to the pan and fry for another 1 min.
4. While the veg cook, pour 500ml boiling water into a heatproof jug. Crumble in the stock cube and stir to dissolve.
5. Return the chicken to the pan. Stir in the pearl barley. Add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 mins.
6. Meanwhile, snap the ends off the asparagus spears (they’ll break at the right point when bent). Chop the spears into bite-sized chunks. Shred the wild garlic leaves.
7. After the stew has cooked for 30 mins, drop in the asparagus. Simmer for a further 5 mins, without the lid on the pan (this helps keep the asparagus green).
8. Stir the shredded wild garlic into the stew. Grate in the lemon zest and stir in the juice from 1 half. Have a taste of the stew and add a little extra salt, pepper or lemon juice if needed. Ladle the stew into a couple of warm bowls and serve.