I'm sitting here thinking of something witty, or charming, or at best, slightly interesting to say. But it's late, and as my eyes glaze over while I'm staring helplessly at the screen, I suddenly discover that in the picture above you can see my reflection. In the spoon. Of me taking said picture. Ha!
Southwestern Chicken Barley Chili
Ever so slightly adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (16-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup medium barley (not quick cooking)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
dash cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into bite-size pieces (I used chopped rotisserie chicken)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
garlic salt, to taste, I put that stuff in everything, it's a sickness, I can't help it
chopped cilantro (optional)
shredded cheddar (optional)
tortilla chips (optional)
In a large pot (about 6-quarts), combine the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, barley, water, chili powder, cumin, dried oregano and cayenne (if using). Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat and add the chicken. Stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer the chili for 40 minutes, until the barley is tender and chewy and the chicken is no longer pink. Stir occasionally, while it simmers to prevent sticking and to make sure it stays at a steady simmer. After 40 minutes, add the beans and corn. Stir to combine and simmer for five more minutes. Add garlic salt to desired taste. Serve the chili with optional garnishes, if desired.
The chili will thicken considerably upon cooling. Add chicken broth or water as needed to achieve a desirable consistency (especially if reheating the leftovers).