Chicken and Barley Salad Michoacan

  • Yield: servings


3/4pound boneless chicken tenders
2tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2tablespoons orange juice
1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1tablespoon ancho chili powder
1tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
1teaspoon salt
3cups water
1cup pearl barley
1tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3cups diced fresh tomatoes
2-- avocadoes, peeled, seeded and diced
2-- Jalapeno peppers
1/4cup fresh cilantro, stems removed
1tablespoon finely chopped shallot
2tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1/2teaspoon kosher salt
1teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1/2cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4cup crumbled Cotija cheese
2tablespoons chopped cilantro


Combine the chicken tenders, lime juice, orange juice, extra virgin olive oil, ancho chile powder and cilantro in a zipper top plastic bag; marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes. Preheat broiler. Remove chicken from the marinade (discard marinade). Arrange chicken on a broiler pan and season with the salt. Broil chicken until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing into 1-2 inch pieces.

In a large saucepan with a lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add the pearl barley. Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes, or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil and allow barley to cool for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, avocado and sliced chicken tenders.

To make the vinaigrette, preheat a broiler. Place the peppers directly on the oven rack or on a sheet of foil and broil turning occasionally until all sides are evenly blackened and charred. Place the peppers in a small paper bag for 5-10 minutes and close to let them steam (this will make removing the skins much easier). Remove the peppers from the paper bag and carefully peel off and discard the skins (you may want to wear rubber gloves). Slice each pepper in half and remove and discard any seeds or membranes.
In a small food processor or blender, combine the roasted peppers, cilantro, shallot, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt and agave nectar or honey. With the motor on the food processor running, pour in the extra virgin olive oil and process until well combined. Pour vinaigrette over the barley salad and stir gently to combine. Garnish by sprinkling with the Cotija cheese and chopped cilantro.

Yield: 6 servings