Roast chicken with barley, kale and roasted pears

Pearl barley is having a moment, and justifiably so: it’s nutty, nutritious and grown in the UK.

  • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus resting
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hours 35 minutes, plus resting

Serves: 4-6


2 tbsp olive oil

5 rosemary stalks, leaves picked and finely chopped

1.25kg essential Waitrose British chicken

3 onions, 2 cut into wedges and 1 finely chopped

3 pears, cored and quartered

300g LOVE life pearl barley

½ x 20g pack thyme sprigs

500ml fresh chicken stock

200g shredded curly kale

1 tbsp essential Waitrose dijon mustard


1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Mix 1 tbsp oil with   the rosemary. Rub over the chicken, season inside and out, then place on top of the onion wedges in a roasting tray. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Add the pears for the final 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and rest under foil for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan and cook the chopped onion and remaining rosemary for 10 minutes. Stir in the barley, thyme, stock and 300ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a brisk simmer for 50-55 minutes, adding the kale for the final 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard, season; loosen with more water if needed.

3. Stir the pears, onion wedges and juices through the barley; spread over a platter. Carve the chicken and place on top.