Delicious and hearty, these Chicken Mushroom Barley Stuffed Peppers are also easy to make.
While I like food which is easy to make, sometimes it’s hard to come up with a good idea. However, a spontaneous idea often results in a scrumptious meal!
Normally, I like to make groceries having decided on the recipes or at least ideas I would make (On a side note, knowing recipes doesn’t stop me from forgetting some ingredients once in a while. Sadly, that’s often a crucial one which leads to altering the whole concept. Please tell me I’m not alone here.) Also, a recipe or idea can be virtually changed if there are some (crucial) ingredients missing.
Another scenario is when you are not sure what you are going to cook (e.x. I’m making a salad. Just a salad. “Andrey, do you have any wishes?” “Not really. Just a delicious salad.” “Well, have I ever made a salad which wasn’t delicious?” No response.)
Indeed, this is not the hardest scenario. At least, there’s something to start with (Like “a delicious salad”. Not a pasta. Not chicken. The options have been narrowed down.) Besides, you can continue
struggling thinking on the way to the grocery store.
But what if you decide on a dish being already in the supermarket?
As the matter of fact, these Chicken Mushroom Barley Stuffed Peppers appeared exactly this way. 10 minutes before leaving the house I asked Andrey last time if he had any preferences, and he said no. In the supermarket, he suddenly realized that stuffed peppers would be a good pick.
Well, I didn’t mind because I love stuffed peppers, and I hadn’t made them for a long time.
Stuffed peppers were already a part of this puzzle. But stuffed with what? With everything like happened last time?
I don’t like brainstorming. Specifically, I don’t like brainstorms when you’ve got like 7,83000 seconds for it.
Chicken Mushroom Barley Stuffed Peppers
Mushrooms? Why not! Peppers and mushrooms are the killing mix! Then, onion, garlic, and herbs – these are the things we almost always have at home.
Next, some carbs. Not a big deal too because we always have some at home. Almost immediately, between buckwheat, rice, quinoa, and barley I chose for the last one. Because the combo of barley and mushrooms is just irresistible.
What else? Cheese, sure. Because…because why not? I remembered that we had some cream cheese and goat cheese, so this was decided in no time.
In fact, brainstorming doesn’t always awful, as you see. And I can bravely say that shopping lists are overrated haha (Still, I feel confident having one).
On our way to home, I altered the idea last time decided to incorporate some poultry. Luckily, I had a package of the thawed chicken breasts resting in the fridge.
The result, as you can imagine, was nearly perfect (Being a humble dude, I cannot say “it was perfect”. But you know this, don’t you?)
Even though these Chicken Mushroom Barley Stuffed Peppers weren’t on my shopping list, spontaneous recipes are often the best.
Do you prefer to get you groceries with an approved shopping list or trust your imagination and last minute decisions?
- 5 medium sweet peppers
- 1 cup cooked barley (about 1/2 cup dry)
- 2 tbsp. oil
- about 2/3 pound cremini mushrooms, finely sliced
- 2 small chicken breasts (about 170 gr. each), wash, drain, and cut into small chuncks
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 - 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
- 1 tsp. dry herbs de Provence
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup cream cheese (plain or with herbs)
- 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumpled
- Cut 2-3 cm from the top of the peppers, with the stems. Remove the seeds, wash, and drain. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C (380 degrees F), place the peppers in a baking dish and roast for about 15-20 minutes or until start to soften.
- In a meanwhile, in a large pan heat the oil over medium heat and cook the onions and garlic 2-3 minutes until soft and fragrant.
- Increase heat to medium high, add the mushrooms, and cook for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add in the chicken and cook 2 minutes until no longer pink. Reduce heat to medium, stir in the herbs and seasonings, and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
- Mix in the cooked barley, jalapenos and cream cheese and stir until just combined. Off heat.
- Remove the peppers from the oven and stuff them with the mixture (You might have a little extra of the stuffing which is fine - it's a delicious side dish!)
- Sprinkle the peppers with the goat cheese and return in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. Grill the peppers for a minute before removing from the oven.
- Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving. These peppers are really good with a dollop of sour cream.