Kerry Fox’s Chicken and Barley Dinner

My partner Michael and I lived in London with New Zealand actress Kerry Fox for over seven years. In fact, her son Eric Linklater was born in oar home. We used to take tarns at cooking and this recipe is based on one of Kerry’s favourite dishes.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup pearl barley, boiled in plenty of lightly salted water for 15 minutes, then drained
  • 1 large leek, washed and sliced into 1 cm(½ in) rings
  • 2 red onions, thickly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 1 large handful mixed fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, tarragon, basil), roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 chicken legs (the thigh and drumstick)
  • about 400 ml(13 ⅔ fl oz) boiling chicken or vegetable stock or water

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Crease a ceramic or roasting dish with olive oil or butter. Place barley in dish and scatter over leek, onions, carrot, garlic, herbs, and salt and pepper.

Cut chicken legs in two at the knee joint. Place on top of vegetables, trying not to overlap. Pour on the boiling stock, which ideally should cover the barley by 1 cm(½ in) – add a little more if necessary. Cover dish with foil and bake 30 minutes in the middle of the oven. Remove the cover and continue baking until chicken is cooked (juices run clear). Place under grill to colour chicken lightly, then serve.