Pre-heat the oven to Gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
Quickly wash the chicken and place in the centre of a large roasting tin, breast side down.
Wash and peel the vegetables and cut into large chunks. Place these in the roasting tin around the chicken and add the pearl barley.
Make up the two 2 chicken stock cubes with 2 litres (3¼ pints) water and pour in until the veg are covered. Add a slack handful of sage and thyme and a generous teaspoon of black or white pepper.
Cover with foil and place in the oven for 1 hour 40 minutes. Remove the foil, turn the chicken over and return to the oven for a further 40 minutes. Check from time to time for drying out and stir in the veg and barley to get good coverage of cooking and flavours.
Ensure the chicken is cooked through before serving. When at last it’s cooked, fork the chicken into the barley and serve with fresh greens or peas.
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