Chicken & Barley Broth with Herbs

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This is loosely based on a traditional Anglo-Saxon recipe. The original recipe was done as a stew and would have contained rabbit, but as we all know everything tastes like chicken so it works!

We came up with this recipe as we were looking for traditional recipes for May Day. This was originally known as Beltane which is the Gaelic May Day festival so a lot of the recipes we have made are Pagan dishes.

Chicken & Barley Broth


  • 300g chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 150g Leeks, chopped
  • 30g Onions chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped fine
  • 100g barley
  • 2 large Carrots, chopped
  • 50g Petit Pois
  • 3 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 pints water
  • 2 Chicken stock cubes
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon dried sage
  • Pepper to taste


  • Cook the barley as shown on the packet
  • Melt the butter, then fry the leeks, onion and garlic in the butter. Next add the carrots and Petit Pois and cook for 10 minutes
  • Add the chicken and brown.
  • Add remaining ingredients, apart from the sage and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  • Add sage and pepper. Stir well and serve.

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