It's been over a year since I found this recipe on Serious Eats. It seemed like such a warm and fuzzy cold weather meal. Too bad it was 76 degrees today. I've officially renamed November as Junevember because we are currently experiencing summery weather in South Carolina. Oh well, apples are in season and I'm determined to use them! Granny Smith apples aren't a favorite of mine or Brandon's, but I didn't want to screw around with this recipe. Certain apples are good for baking and some will explode! I don't need another cooking mishap. Burns all over my hands and arms are enough.
I used the Al Fresco chicken sausage again. It's so good.
I was worried that this recipe wouldn't have much flavor with cinnamon being the only added spice, but the sausage did the trick. Cooking the barley wasn't bad - it took about 25 minutes to completely absorb the chicken broth. The difficult part was scooping the barley mixture atop the apples without it falling all over the place. It kind of looked like a disaster going in the oven.
But it tasted really good! The barley was a bit chewy which went well with the sausage, and the cinnamon really paired well with the apples. I'm glad I chose chicken sausage because I was using chicken broth to cook the barley. If I made this recipe again, I would not scoop the barley over the apples before baking them. I'd just bake the apples separately, then plate it together.
In other news, I have a new obsession. I've always loved Stacy's pita chips -- Multigrain being my favorite flavor. I never thought the Cinnamon Sugar would be good because I couldn't imagine a pita chip being sweet. While at Nikki's house this weekend, I gave them a try.........woah woah woah I could not stop eating them! They go on sale at Publix tomorrow and I am stocking up! YES!