Thursday, May 23, 2013

Grilled Chicken and Barley Corn Salad

Good morning bloggers! We are over halfway through the week, and I'm in the need of something light and colorful for dinner. By this point, most weeks, I dread the idea of making a big meal, but Summer is rolling around so I don't mind as much. It also means firing up the grill, and that means fun times.

Now, before we get started, I want to explain to everyone what barley is. Barley is part of the grass family. It is a major cereal grain. Hold that "Ewww" until I finish... It's used as fodder for animals, in the fermentation process of beer and other alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as in soups and various health foods. You can also find barley in whole grain breads that you buy from your local grocery store. Many of you have had barley without even giving it a second thought! That's crazy, right? Now that you're clued in, let's grab our grilling utensils and get cooking!

Grilled Chicken and Barley Corn Salad
Serves 4 to 6 

You will need:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup medium barley
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1.5 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 4 slices cooked thick or center cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • salt 
  • pepper

For the Tomato Vinaigrette:

  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon red onion
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Cook the barley with a pinch of salt according to package directions. 
  2. Drain when the barley is tender, but make sure all excess water is removed. 
  3. Place into a large bowl to cool slightly.
  4. To Make the Tomato Vinaigrette: Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a food processor or blender, then process until smooth. 
  5. Place 6 Tablespoons of the vinaigrette into a plastic bag and set the remaining aside. 
  6. To Make the Chicken: Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, then add it to the bag with the vinaigrette and marinate in the refrigerator while you make the Barley Corn Salad.
  7. Stir the corn, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and bacon into the cooled barley. 
  8. Add enough of the reserved tomato vinaigrette to coat and stir well. 
  9. Gently fold in avocado then season with salt and pepper to taste, then place into the refrigerator.
  10. Heat a grill to high and grill chicken for 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. 
  11. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then divide salads onto plates and top with grilled chicken.
  12. Enjoy!

I hope you really enjoy this recipe. It'll make for a great Summer meal with your friends and family. I'll be back tomorrow with another fabulous recipe. Happy blogging to you all, and I'll catch you on the flip side!