This dish yields a fried-tasting chicken dish with none of the mess; the grain coating lends a toasted flavor and rough texture that juxtaposes the tenderness of the chicken.
One chicken thigh may not seem like enough of a portion for a meat entree, but serving it alongside a number of side dishes is a good way to save money on meat – and to cut back on food waste. If you think your guest will covet more food (or the first few serving themselves will take others’ shares), make 1.5 times the recipe with 5 thighs and 5 legs for six people.
You can substitute the barley for another uncooked grain, like rice, panko or bread crumbs. Do not use flour in this recipe. Any spices you have on hand can be substituted in equal measure for the curry powder.
1 cup barley, uncooked
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus several pinches
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce, like Frank’s Red Hot
6 chicken thighs
1. Place rack in middle of oven and preheat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Lightly grind in food processor or spice grinder, for no more than 10 seconds.
3. In small bowl, mix together barley, salt, pepper and curry powder.
4. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and hot sauce.
5. Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt. Dip each into milk and egg mixture, then into barley bowl to cover. Place skin side down on non-stick baking sheet.
6. Roast 30 minutes, turning at halfway point, or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees.
Reheat in oven or microwave.