Serves 4


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves removed from stems and torn into small pieces (stems can be saved for soup or stir-fry)
  • 8 ounces white button mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, sliced


    Preheat the oven to 425°. Brush 2 tablespoons of the olive oil across the bottom of a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, chard, mushrooms, garlic and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Place half of the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the cast-iron skillet, then pour the barley over the top. Add the rest of the vegetable mixture and, finally, the chicken broth.

    Arrange the chicken thighs on top of the veggie and barley layers, pushing them gently into the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle the chicken with the remaining teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper, then drizzle the skins with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Toss in the thyme and sliced lemon. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until the skin begins to brown and the barley is tender. If you like extra-crisp skin, put the pan under the broiler for the last few minutes. Serve immediately.

    From Feeding a Family: A Real-Life Plan for Making Dinner Work by Sarah Waldman, © 2016 by Sarah Waldman. Photographs by Elizabeth Cecil. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO,

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