Chicken with Whole Garlic, Pearled Barley and Sprouting Broccoli

Celebrating our partnership with Heart Research UK, enjoy chef Matt's heart healthy chicken dinner recipe.

By Matt Williamson
90 minutes | serves: 4

The generous amount of whole garlic cooks down to become deliciously sweet and can be squeezed out of the skin. The barley soaks up all the juices and can be swapped for your favourite cooked grain or even small pasta shapes.


4 chicken thighs, breasts or drumsticks, skin removed 

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

12 individual cloves of garlic (approximately 1 head), separated but unpeeled 

1 onion, cut into 8 wedges 

1 large leek, cut into tick 4cm slices 

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

300ml chicken stock, low salt if cubes(or use hot water) 

4 sprigs fresh thyme 

200g pearl barley 

400g sprouting or tenderstem broccoli, thick stalks removed and trimmed into florets (approx 300g serving) 


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan
  2. Season the chicken with a pinch of salt and pepper and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  3. Place in a casserole or oven dish with the garlic, onion and leeks. Cook for 25 minutes in the oven to lightly colour.
  4. While the chicken is cooking boil the barley in a large pan of water with the thyme and 1 strip lemon zest for 20 minutes until just tender, then add the broccoli and boil for another 3 minutes, then drain and keep warm to one side.
  5. Once the chicken is coloured add the chicken stock and cover and cook for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. While it’s cooking finely chop the herbs with the lemon zest and put to one side.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked add the warm barley and broccoli and return to the oven to heat through.
  8. Squeeze over the remaining lemon juice to taste and sprinkle over the chopped herbs and a bit more pepper to serve