Arroz Caldo, healthy style (pearl barley and chicken congee)
While the barley didn't turn totally soft the way white rice does, I still loved the outcome. The barley stayed al dente, like risotto (same ideas, basically), and absorbed the aromatic liquid while giving off just enough starch to thicken it up.
Arroz Caldo with Pearl Barley
Brown in a stew pot:
1 whole chicken, divided, in just a sheen of oil
Add and color:
1/2 chopped onion and two mashed garlic cloves
1 healthy dash of salt (1/2 tsp) and 5 grinds of pepper
1 slosh of patis (about 2 Tbs)
3 hunks (about the size of an average-sized grape) of peeled and slightly smashed ginger
Then add and stir in:
1 cup pearl barley
And finally add and bring to a boil:
8 cups of water or chicken stock.
Let the whole thing simmer until it's either al dente or softer--at least 90 minutes. If you have it, top with green onion or a squeeze of kalamnsi (Filipino citrus).