Chicken Meatballs on Barley

  • Yield: 4 servings


Chicken Meatballs:
1/2cup plain dry breadcrumbs
1-- egg, beaten
2tablespoons milk
1/2teaspoon salt
1/4teaspoon pepper
1/2teaspoon minced garlic
1teaspoon dried tarragon, divided
1teaspoon dried basil, divided
1pound ground chicken
1tablespoon olive oil
1tablespoon butter
1/2cup white wine
1teaspoon lemon zest
1/2cup chicken broth
1tablespoon cornstarch
Lemon Pecan Barley:
1cup quick cooking pearl barley
2cups chicken broth
1teaspoon grated lemon zest
2tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1tablespoon butter
1/2cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
2-- green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
1/4cup fresh chopped parsley
-- lemon wedges for garnish if desired.


For meatballs and sauce:
In a mixing bowl, combine breadcrumbs, egg, milk, salt, pepper, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon and 1/2 teaspoon basil. Add chicken and mix gently with hands just to combine. Mixture will be soft; can be refrigerated for 20-30 minutes for easier handling. Shape into meatballs about 1" in diameter. Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute meatballs, turning often, until browned and cooked through. Remove to a plate. Add wine, lemon zest and remaining tarragon and basil to skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits in bottom of skillet. Reduce heat to simmer. Stir together chicken broth and cornstarch and add to pan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens. Add meatballs back into pan along with any accumulated juices on plate. Cover and keep warm.

For lemon pecan barley:
In a large saucepan, combine barley and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10-12 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and zest, butter, pecans and green onions.

To serve, place lemon pecan barley on a large platter. Arrange meatballs around barley. Drizzle the sauce over meatballs; sprinkle chopped parsley over all. Garnish platter with lemon wedges, if desired. Serves 4.