Chicken Freekeh

Freekeh (Free-kah) is a commonly used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, it’s part of the food culture of countries like Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria.

Harvested early, while the grains are still tender and green. Parched, roasted, dried and then rubbed. Freekeh works beautifully in many dishes – like casseroles, soups, pilafs, salads and this chicken dish below.

Chicken Freekeh

Serves 4, prep time 10 minutes, cooking time 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 skinless chicken thighs
2 chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup uncooked freekeh
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp of smoked paprika
1 ½ cups unsalted chicken stock
¾ cup of raisins
2 lemons, one sliced and one zested
1 tsp oregano

FETA CHEESE SAUCE
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 lemon zested, peeled and cut into segments
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (plus extra to serve)
100g feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp of toasted sliced almonds

METHOD
FOR THE CHICKEN
Season the chicken, heat the oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat; add chicken and brown on both sides.
Remove the chicken and set to one side, to the pan add the onion and sauté until softened.
Add the freekeh, coriander, paprika and stir.
Pour in the chicken stock, add the raisins and season.
Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in the lemon zest and oregano.
Place the chicken on the freekeh, top each piece with a lemon slice.
Cover the pan, and cook on a low heat for 5-6 minutes until the liquids absorbed.

FOR THE FETA CHEESE SAUCE
Zest and peel the lemon, removing the white pith.
Peel the membranes from each segment and dice.
Heat the oil in a pan, add the pepper, garlic and sauté.
Stir in the lemon zest, segments, oregano and chopped parsley.
Reduce the heat, add the feta and stir into the oil so it melts.
On a serving plate, layer the freekeh add the chicken then pour over the cheese sauce.
Top with toasted almond, chopped parsley and serve.

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