Fiesta Chicken With Barley and Brown Rice (Crock Pot)

"I came up with this when I couldn't decide between chicken cacciatore or something more Tex-Mex. I also wanted a "real" meal without having to work too hard at it. We really enjoyed this. Other cuts of chicken can be used, although I recommend staying away from boneless skinless breasts because I think they tend to dry out in a slow cooker. Since every one's crock pots heat differently and grains can be tricky to cook in a CP, you may have to fool a little bit with the timing on the rice and barley. You could also make that separately and just add it in at serving time. Cooked the way I did it, it almost had a risotto-like texture to it."
photo by esteban photo by esteban
photo by esteban
photo by esteban photo by esteban
photo by esteban photo by esteban
photo by Vino Girl photo by Vino Girl
Ready In:
7hrs 20mins




  • Sprinkle chicken with pepper and lightly brown in a large nonstick skillet, 5 minutes on each side.
  • Place onion, chipotle pepper, and garlic in the crock pot, followed by the chicken.
  • Pour tomato juice over the chicken.
  • Sprinkle chicken with cumin, chili powder, and more black pepper.
  • Pour canned tomatoes & green chilis over chicken.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
  • Remove chicken, and stir uncooked rice and barley into the slow cooker (check the dryness at this time, too, and add some water or other liquid in if you need to).
  • Place chicken back on top and continue to cook on low for 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 more hours until grains are tender but not overdone.
  • Serve with cheese and sour cream, if desired.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Podkayne
    I grabbed this recipe because I was interested in something with whole grains, and it was pretty good. I would recommend sauteing the onions and garlic first, since I don't like the flavor of the onion when you just dump it raw into the crockpot. I threw caution to the winds and used skinless chicken breasts, and didn't brown them, but I like the texture of chicken cooked low and slow and then shredded. I added the rice and barley 2 1/2 hours before we were going to eat, and I thought the texture of that was fine, too.
  2. Katie H.
    This was so good and so easy! I’ve made it twice already.
  3. Jonzee princess
    I have a lot of brown rice and I am trying to incorporate it more into our diets. I found this and liked it because it was a crock pot mean which is perfect for our busy family. I used boneless skinless chicken breast. I am not a huge fan of spicy food so I left out the chipotle chile and it was still spicy. Not an overwhelming spicy, but perfect. This will be a repeat in our house. My 2 and 3 year old even asked for more.


My husband and I married straight out of college in July of 1992. I work as the Assistant Manager at a wine shop which allows me to drink on the job! (OK, not that much, but it's still a fun job...) Besides helping customers choose wine they will like (and also help with food and wine pairings for their menus), I also get to help with the catering end of the business, so I get to spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen making fun appetizers and beautiful food displays. I also work part-time at the fromagerie next door. So yeah - that means I eat on the job, too. :^D We live on several peaceful wooded acres on a cute little river in rural NE Wisconsin, with a cranky old-lady Burmese and whatever stray outdoor cats that have decided to adopt us on any given day. The cute puppy in the picture is Jake, our Elhew-bred English Pointer that we brought home on Easter weekend 2007. I've also got 2 painted turtles named Dennis and Fuzz, and a bunch of fish (koi and goldfish, along with the guppies & swordtails in the turtle tank). I USUALLY eat and cook healthy, but I rarely pass up dessert, either. I do not eat red meat, and try to limit other animal products, too. I love to bake, although I seem to collect a lot of scone and biscotti recipes which I NEVER get around to making. I bake and eat A LOT of cookies and muffins... I almost always reduce the sugar by 1/4 and use whole wheat pastry flour for at least part of the flour. Those two changes do so much to make recipes healthier without compromising taste. I try to reduce fat whenever I can, too, but while I want to eat healthy, I still want to ENJOY what I eat!!! I seem to give a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews here - I seem to have a pretty good sense of what I like by looking at a recipe before I try it. Thank you to anyone that tries my recipes in return, or photographs them. Amber: <img src=""> ........And a grown up Jake (one year old in January 2008) :) - <img src=""> Charlotte (May 27, 1992-June 1, 2009): <img src=""> Ashley: Adopted October 8, 1996 - Passed Away January 6, 2009 <img src=""> Mike: September 26, 1994 - March 19, 2004<img src="">.... <a href=''><img src='' alt='Click to zoom in on my visitor map!' border='0'></a>Create your free world <a href='' target='_blank'>visitor maps</a>
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