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Chicken Thighs and Barley
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For the chicken thighs:

* 3 to 4 pounds chicken thighs

* Olive oil (enough to rub on the chicken)

* Salt and ground pepper

* 1/2 cup of chicken stock

* 1 cup pearl barley

* 3 cups water or stock

* 2 radishes

* 1 watermelon radish

* Asparagus

* Parsley

Preheat oven 400 degrees.

Rinse chicken pieces. Coat bottom of a roasting pan with olive oil. Rub olive oil over chicken in roasting pan. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Arrange the pieces in the roasting pan where they aren’t crowded.

Cook for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Then lower the heat to 350 degrees and cook for 10 to 30 minutes more (approximately 14 to 15 minutes per pound total cooking time) until juices run clear (not pink) when poked with a sharp knife

Remove roasting pan from oven. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before pulling the chicken off in big chunks.

For the barley:

Combine the barley and water in the saucepan. Add a generous pinch of salt if desired.

Bring the water and barley to a boil, then bring it down to a simmer.

If necessary drain the barely when fully cooked.

For the radish, watermelon radish, asparagus and parsley salad topping:

Slice about 1 or 2 radishes with a Madeline. Cut the watermelon radish into medium strips and cut asparagus into small pieces and pick parsley leaves.

Toss them all together. This goes on top of the chicken and barely.

For the green goddess sauce:

* 2 teaspoons anchovy paste

* 1 small garlic clove, minced

* 3/4 cup mayonnaise

* 3/4 cup sour cream

* 1/2 cup chopped parsley

* 1/4 cup chopped tarragon

* 3 tablespoons chopped chives

* 2 tablespoons lemon juice

* Salt and black pepper to taste

Put all of the ingredients in the bowl of a blender or food processor and blend or pulse until you get an evenly smooth dressing. It takes about 30-45 seconds.

For the beet puree:

* 1-2 beets

Peel the beets and then slice them thinly. Extract the juice from one of them and bring it to a simmer.

In a bowl, pour the beet juice and throw the sliced beets in it and let it sit for 10-20 minutes. Put the beet slices and juice in a food processor or blender and blend it.

For the entire plate:

In one sauté pan, put the pulled chicken and a small amount of butter. In another pan, put the asparagus tips with some butter and sauté until tender.

In a third sauté pan, put a handful of barley on the pan. Stir until reheated completely.

While the chicken and barley heat up and the asparagus cooks, put 3 to 4 spoonfuls of the green goddess sauce on the edges of your desired plate.

When ready, plate the barley down the middle of the plate and near the goddess sauce.

Once the chicken is reheated and asparagus is tender, mix together and place on top of the barley.

Put the radish, watermelon radish, asparagus and parsley salad topping on top.

Get a spoonful of beet puree and drizzle over plate and serve.

Source: Erika Castaneda, Johnson High School junior

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