Serves 2 (each serving contains approximately 600 kcal)
|1 vegetable stew packet (containing 1 onion, 1 leek, 3 carrots, 1 parsnip, 1 small turnip and handful of fresh curly parsley)|
|10g fresh thyme|
|2 boneless and skinless chicken thighs (225g total)|
|1 tablespoon plain flour (15g)|
|2 tablespoons pearl barley (need weight)|
|450g even-sized potatoes|
|2 teaspoons rapeseed oil (10g)|
|salt (optional) and freshly ground black pepper|
|500ml chicken stock (made from a stock cube – reduced sodium)|
Peel the onion, then cut in half and cut into slices. Trim the leek and cut into slices. Trim the carrots and cut into slices. Peel the parsnip and turnip and cut into cubes. Strip the parsley and thyme from the stems and finely chop.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Trim the chicken thighs if necessary and cut into bite-sized pieces. Place the flour on a plate and season lightly with salt (optional) and pepper, then use to coat the chicken.
Arrange a third of the vegetables in the bottom of a casserole dish and scatter over some of the chicken and pearl barley, then then add a sprinkling of herbs. Continue the layers in this way until all the ingredients are used up. Season lightly with salt (optional) and pepper.
Pour enough chicken stock to just come up above the last layer of chicken. Cover the casserole with a lid and place in the oven for 45 minutes.
Place the potatoes in a pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt (optional) and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside for 5 minutes until cool enough to handle. Slice the potatoes lengthways into 1cm thick slices and lay them in a slightly overlapping layer on top of the casserole. Brush lightly with the oil.
Return the hot pot to the oven and cook for another 40 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through and nicely golden and the chicken is piping hot with no pink meat and the juices run clear. Garnish with the rest of the thyme and serve straight to the table.