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Grilled chicken, barley and fennel bowl


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil , divided (15 millilitres)
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • ½ head fennel, cored, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley (125 millilitres)
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth (375 millilitres)
  • 2 cups baby spinach, washed (500 millilitres)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound/454 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (5 millilitres)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) balsamic vinegar


  1. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a small pot on medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and fennel and sauté until softened and golden, about four minutes. Add the garlic and barley.  Cook for one minute, just to toast . 
  2. Add the, bay leaf  broth and pepper.  Bring to a boil and stir. Cover and simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes until tender.  Remove from heat and toss with fresh spinach .
  3. Meanwhile, coat chicken breasts with two teaspoons (10 millilitres) of the oil and chili powder , evenly.
  4. Heat grill to medium high heat and grill chicken breasts for about 12 minutes for the chicken. Turn occasionally until and chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove to cutting board.  Divide barley mixture among four bowls.
  5. Slice chicken and toss with balsamic vinegar and place over top of barley. 

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