Greek Chicken and Barley Salad

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This simple salad tastes fresh and light, but is still filling.  It also held over as leftovers really well.  It would be perfect to take to a summer potluck or picnic.

Makes 8 cups

For the salad

  • 2 (6 oz.) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/8 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 cups less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • I cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 2 cups seeded cubed cucumber
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup cubed yellow bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives (optional)

For the dressing

  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. honey

To prepare salad, sprinkle chicken with 1/8 tsp. salt.  Heat 1 tsp. oil in nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add chicken; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned.  Add 1 cup broth; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until done.  Cool; shred chicken.  Discard broth.

Bring 3 cups broth to boil in a large saucepan; add barley.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 35 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork.  Cool.  Combine chicken, barley, cucumber, and next four ingredients in a large bowl.

To prepare dressing, combine 3 Tbsp. oil, zest, and remaining ingredients; stir well.  Add to barley mixture; toss well.  Cover and chill.

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