Chard and Chicken Stir-Fry on Barley

The cool rainy weather followed by warm sunshine have done wonders for my Rainbow Chard.

I've mentioned in prior posts that Americans use the leaves and discard the stems while the French use the stems and discard the leaves.

We eat it all.

But the two parts require different cooking times. 

The leaves I treat like spinach: sometimes raw in slads, more often quickly stir-fried or baked in a gratin.

The stems I cut-up and braise for 5 – 10 minutes in olive oil first, then add to the dish with the leaves.

Chard and Chicken Stir-Fry on Barley  

Preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes  


  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 8oz (250gr) chard
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) sherry
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs Balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) plus 2 tbs chicken stock
  • 1 tbs cornstarch (maizena, corn flour)
  • Barley
  • 2/3 cup barley, quick-cooking
  • 1 1/3 cup chicken stock

Chicken with Chard


  • The prep:  
  • Cut chard stems into 1/4 inch slices
  • Stack the chard leaves and cut into 1/2 inch slices.
  • Vertically slice the onion.
  • Cut celery into 1/4 inch slices.
  • Mince the garlic.
  • Cut the carrot into sticks
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 tbs chicken stock and set aside.
  • To cook: 
  • In a large skillet or wok heat half of the oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add celery, onion, chard stems, and stir fry 3 minutes.
  • Add garlic, carrot, and stir-fry 2 minutes more.
  • Transfer vegetables to a plate.
  • Add the rest of the oil to the skillet.
  • Add chicken and stir fry 3 minutes.
  • Return the vegetables to the pan and add sherry, vinegar, soy sauce and chicken stock.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 – 5 minutes longer, until the carrot is barely tender.
  • Give the cornstarch/stock a stir to recombine and add it to the pan, stirring constantly until thickened.
  • Add the chard leaves and stir until wilted.
  • Serve over barley.
  • Barley 
  • Cook barley in chicken stock, covered, over medium-low heat until done.

The update:

The trim is done around the ceiling.


And around the windows.

See the little arrows?

The tripod-thing-y is what he uses to make the floor level…. it's spins a red light around the room.  He loves that toy.  It makes a noise, too.

The switch below the window is for a light in my herb garden, which is just outside that window.  So, finally, I have a light!  Oh, and he did the rest of the wiring in the room as well.

Then, because nothing is ever finished until it's been done over…..

He partially gutted the little downstairs bathroom – the first room he finished when we started this monstrosity.

There was a bit of pressure to get it done, and he was never really happy with the sink / vanity or with the shower floor.  Plus there was a problem with the tile in the shower…. Which caused a problem with the rest of the tile on the floor.


Anyway, he's going to build a counter that will fit the space better, and put in a nicer sink.

He's already re-tiled the shower floor.  Now we just need to pick up new tile for the rest of the floor.


He manages to keep busy.


See the pretty green worm on my lettuce leaf?

That tells us 2 things:

  1.  The lettuce is organic. (Of course it is, it's from my own garden.)
  2.  Always wash your lettuce.


7 thoughts on “Chard and Chicken Stir-Fry on Barley”

  1. I pick those pretty (and destructive) little green worms off my lettuce and kale and toss them to my chickens (insert sinister cackle here); It’s quite satisfying.
    Love the updates!

  2. Washing my homegrown lettuce this week, I got me one of those little crawly worms, too. The rabbit eats my lettuce, and the chipmunk eats only my swiss chard stems…too many critters!

  3. I’m continually impressed by the progress in the house but this update is over the top – he’s RE-doing a room that he already did??? The man is amazing!
    I like your little light switch. You can turn it on and admire, or just as you go out to pick something for one of your delicious dishes.

  4. We use both the leaves and the stems on chard as well. And I confess that I haven’t noticed that they cook at different rates. Oh dear. That must mean that the chard we eat is undercooked/overcooked by some people’s standards. Luckily, ignorance IS bliss and we love the way we cook chard. 🙂 We usually stir-fry it. But your way looks delicious as well!
    Do we have to watch out for those lovely green crawlers on chard too?

  5. I picked two of those green leaf eaters off my crook neck squash plants just this week. I can’t wait to try the split pea recipe.

  6. Christine, I’ve thought about keeping chickens…. but then I’d have to learn how to butcher them…. to squeamish I think LOL
    Mem, the rabbits dig up my garden all the time but don’t eat any of it (so far) very strange… We don’t have chipmunks – or squirrels.
    Zoomie, he’s a bit of a perfectionist – which can be a good thing…. Usually.
    manningroad, I’m always amazed at how pretty garden pests can be.
    Elizabeth, I usually stir-fry it, too – sometimes with feta and olives (yum) but when I use it in a gratin, I give the stems a head start. If you buy chard here, at the markets, the stems are the size of big celery ribs. No creepies on the shard – so far…
    Kay, on the squash? Now I’m going to have to go out and inspect….

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