Freekeh with chicken is such a well-rounded Arabic meal. Freekeh is young green wheat that is packed with nutritional value. There are two known variations of freekeh. The freekeh used in traditional Palestinian freekeh soup is actually fine freekeh, while the one used in this recipe or as a replacement for rice is coarse. Freekeh has such an earthy, nutty flavor and pairs perfectly with this spiced chicken. It is also fabulous in salad form!
How to make this simple Freekeh with chicken?
Freekeh with chicken is very easy to prepare especially following this method. The chicken in the recipe is cut into smaller cubes rather than whole pieces, which requires roasting the chicken. The chicken breast will only need under 10 minutes, and the freekeh will take just about 25 minutes making this a quick, balanced meal. Many are intimidated to cook freekeh, but it is just as simple as adding stock, an onion, and a few spices to jazz it up. The only thing with freekeh is that it must be thoroughly rinsed and even soaked to remove any dirt or stones found amongst the grains. So, before using this grain, rinse it several times to purify it.
This authentic Palestinian dish is typically served with freekeh stuffed inside a whole chicken or roasted chicken on top of freekeh. This variation is meant to cut down on prep and cook time for those busy days but not cut down on any flavor. It is typically served with Arabic salad and plain yogurt for a complete wholesome meal.
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Freekeh with chicken
- 2 cups Freekeh, coarse, thoroughly rinsed & drained
- 1 Yellow onion, diced finely
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 Bouillon cube, crushed
- 1/4 tsp Ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Seven Spice
- 2.5 cups Cooking Liquid
- 2 Chicken Breasts, cubed 1- 2inch cubes
- 1 tbsp Seven spice
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/2 A fresh lemon's juice
- 2 tbsp Olive oil, divided
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Toasted slivered almonds
- Parsley, chopped
- Season the chicken with the spices, lemon, and 1 tbsp oil making sure to coat the cubes evenly. Marinate this while getting the freekeh started. You can also marinate the chicken overnight to be cooked the following day.
- To make the freekeh, add the oil to a pot along with the chopped onions. Saute until fragrant and translucent. Sprinkle the onions with salt and pepper.
- To the pot, add the freekeh along with the spices, bouillon cube, and 2.5 cups of vegetable stock or water as the cooking liquid.
- Bring this to a boil then simmer on low with the cover on for about 20 minutes stirring every few minutes. Keep the freekeh covered to remain warm once cooked.
- To make the chicken, add it to a nonstick skillet with 1 tbsp of oil then laying the chicken evenly and cook on medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes flipping them halfway through. Chicken is cooked when there is no pink in the center.
- Top the cooked freekeh with the seared chicken then garnish with the nuts and parsley. Serve with plain yogurt and a fresh arabic salad!