Turkey, Red Beans, & Barley; a mysterious island

This is not Red Beans & Rice which usually has andouille sausage in it.

I love the red beans and the rice, but am not overly fond of the andouille sausage. I’ve never had andouille sausage in the U.S. and I don’t know if it’s made with tripe (stomach linings of various animals) like it is here in France. I do not like French andouille.

As I live in France I decided to pair my red beans with turkey,

As long as I was being creative I tossed in some olives, a few other things that sounded interesting, and served it all over barley.

Why not?

The barley I use, and love, is a quick-cooking kind that is done in 15 minutes – the same amount of time as Basmati rice.

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Turkey, Red Beans, & Barley

Looking for something a little different for dinner? But still quick & easy?
This is it….

  • Author: Kate
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Turkey
  • Method: Skillet


  • 10oz (300gr) turkey cutlets or tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 onion, quartered, then sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups (15oz (450gr) red beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup green olives, cut in half
  • 3oz (90gr) feta, cubed or crumbled
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) chicken broth
  • 2 tsp cornstarch (maizena, corn flour), dissolved in 2 tbs water
  • 1/2 cup (2.8oz, 80gr) barley, quick-cooking
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken broth


  • Cook barley in stock until tender, about 15 minutes (or whatever your package says)
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add onions, carrots to skillet and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, paprika, turkey, and sauté for 5 minutes longer.
  • Add red beans and heat through.
  • Add chicken stock, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Dissolve cornstarch in water, add to skillet and stir until thickened.
  • Add olives, feta and stir, just until the feta starts to melt.
  • Remove from heat and serve over barley.


I used turkey cutlets, but you could also buy a turkey tenderloin, cut what you need, and freeze the rest. You could use chicken or pork also.
This is over barley. I use a quick-cooking barley that is ready in 15 minutes. Rice or couscous would also be good.


  • Serving Size: 1/2 recipe
  • Calories: 753
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 1713.2 mg
  • Fat: 23.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.5 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 83.5 g
  • Fiber: 11 g
  • Protein: 54.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 136.5 mg

Keywords: turkey, red beans, barley

Turkey, Red Beans & Barley

We have a mystery, chez nous.

About 3 weeks ago the farmer across the valley brought in 2 big backhoes on a Saturday morning. They started digging. They spent all day Sat. & Sun. digging in his field.

When the pond below our property fills up every winter, which it does, the overflow goes between 2 fields owned by the farmer doing the digging.

Last year he put in drainage pipes along the edge of the green field that is diagonally going to the upper right of the photo.

Apparently they were not up to the task of keeping his fields from becoming swamps.

To continue:

On Monday the backhoes were gone, only to return the following Sat. We assumed they went off to work at their real jobs during the week. This time they were joined by 2 dump trucks to haul the dirt around the field.

Naturally, we are fascinated by all this. As we have been under both curfew and lock-down it doesn’t take much to entertain us.

This weekend the backhoes and dump trucks were accompanied by a grader.

By Sun. evening they were done – all the dirt moved and smoothed.

But what is it?

It’s not nearly big enough to serve as an irrigation pond (in my expert opinion).

Why is it tear-shaped and why did they leave an island in the middle?

I started the rumor that they were going to build a tiny, but very tall castle on the island and, when water filled it, there would be a moat.

A friend suggested they were building a 1 hole golf course with an island green. No bridge, of course. One would have to grab a putter and swim over – if one managed to land the ball there.

Of course it could be stocked with fish (when full) and the whole field turned into a fishing camp.

Or maybe they’ll build a bridge and just have a private picnic area…. in the middle of the farm field.

I suppose we could wander over and ask the farmer – but where would the fun be in that?

It’s much more fun to speculate.

4 thoughts on “Turkey, Red Beans, & Barley; a mysterious island”

  1. That was the first thing I thought of too! A moat, but in the pictures, it looks too small for almost anything other than maybe a gazebo. Then again, that’s a long walk to relax. Not so much there, but takes the relaxation out of it having to walk back.

    Never thought of using barley like that. I think it would be a good base for a lot of things now that I’ve seen it!

    • I love barley – the hubs not so much. I usually end up cooking barley for me and rice for him.
      The latest thought is that it will be for ducks, There will be a duck house on the island to protect from fox, etc. It’s still just speculation, but that would be fun.

    • French farmers are not much into follies lol. But the kids could be doing something fun. They turned that field into a dirt bike track a dew years ago – which was very irritating.

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