I wrote this recipe down a few months ago for Project Scouse and thought I would post on here now, seeing as though the jumpers and gloves are out and we will all be thinking of comfort food. When asked to think of traditional scouse dishes my mind immediately went to sitting on Nanna Kitty's couch on a Saturday afternoon, watching TV whilst she cooked in the kitchen. One of the dishes she made quite often was chicken and barley soup, something which I think was a firm staple for a lot of people growing up in Liverpool and something that I still love to cook. The soup uses only a few ingredients, with the key ingredient of chicken being taken from leftovers of the previous nights tea. The fact that the soup uses few ingredients, is quick to make and goes a long is probably why it was a huge favourite for everyone but for me it is a favourite because it not only tastes great but it takes me to a nice warm place full of lovely childhood memories.
Each family will have their own little take on the dish but here is my Nanna Kitty's recipe if any of you would like to give it a try.
Makes large pan
Leftovers from a whole roasted chicken, including bones. If you don't have left overs then use a small cooked breast and a leg or thigh *
1 cup of pearl barley
1 large onion
salt and pepper to season
* If you choose to use breast only then you will need to add half a chicken stock cube
1. Roughly chop your onion and carrots and fry in a large pan with a little oil until onion are softened.
2. Take your leftover chicken and remove any fat or skin. Take any flesh from the chicken and set aside then place the larger bones into a the pan, adding water until the pan is 3/4 full
3. Once water is brought to a boil, add the bay leaf and seasoning and allow the bones to simmer for 30-45 minutes. Remove all bones from pan
4. Add in the cup of barley and the flesh from the chicken ( I like large shredded strips). Cook for 30-40 minutes. Remove all bones.
5. If the soup looks too thick for your taste then add a little water. Serve with homemade bread and butter.