1 1/2 cups pearled barley
3 1/2 cups water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 small shallots, minced
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons pecan or olive oil, divided
1/4 cup pecan halves or pieces
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
4 sprigs parsley, leaves picked and chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
4 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves picked and chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
4 cups arugula (or another spicy green)
- In a medium saucepan with a lid, combine barley, water and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until barley is tender and all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the shallots, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon pecan oil. Keep warm.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pecans, and toast by tossing and stirring frequently until they start to become toasted and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove pecans from skillet and set aside.
- To the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon pecan oil and heat over medium high heat. Season the chicken on both sides with a 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add the chicken to the skillet and sauté until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and continue sautéing until the chicken is browned and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the center reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Transfer chicken to a platter. Sprinkle both sides with chopped parsley and oregano. Cover and keep warm. Allow to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.
- To serve, stir arugula and toasted pecans into the warm barley and transfer to a serving platter. Thinly slice the chicken breast and serve on top of barley salad.