Chicken, Mushroom, and Barley Stew

Chicken, Mushroom, and Barley Stew

½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 large shallots, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
2 large carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
½ cup pearl barley, rinsed
1 large bay leaf

1. Combine mushrooms and boiling water in cup; soak 10 minutes. Lift mushrooms out with slotted spoon, leaving soaking liquid in cup. Coarsely chop mushrooms and reserve soaking liquid.
2. Set large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and lightly spray both sides with nonstick spray. Add chicken to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add shallots and cook until softened, about three minutes. Add broth, carrots, celery, barley, bay leaf, and mushrooms. Carefully pour in reserved mushroom liquid leaving any grit in the bottom of cup. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until barley is tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Discard bayleaf.

Simple addition – Sprinkle each serving of stew with one or more finely chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, sage, or chives.

Source: Weight Watchers Love It, Cook It, Eat It (6 servings)