Freekeh with Chicken is a traditional Middle Eastern Dish using the superfood grain Freekeh.
Freekeh or Freekah is an ancient grain that is very popular in the Middle Eastern cuisine. The taste is close to barley but a bit smokier. It is made from green wheat that is picked young and goes through a roasting process, and then it’s sun-dried and threshed – so the process is very natural as it only uses fire/sun and air. Freekeh has been recently labelled as a superfood, it’s based on wholegrain and contains a lot of protein and fibre, and if you compare it to brown rice, freekeh contains 4 times the amount of the protein and 2 times the amount of fibre! It’s also rich in magnesium, selenium, and potassium, and is low in glycemic index.
The texture of freekeh is nutty and pleasantly chewy, and it was discovered accidentally by farmers about 2,000 years ago in the Middle East. Because Freekeh is rich in fiber it fills you up and keeps you full for longer which can help with weight loss. It is also very popular among vegans and vegetarians.
HOW TO SERVE FREEKEH
There are many ways in which you can have Freekeh; toss it in a salad, soups, pilafs, to make stuffing for chicken or poultry, or simple drizzle with maple syrup and add fresh fruits, yogurt and nuts!
You can buy Freekeh in 3 different sizes: fine, medium, and rough. Fine freekeh (cracked) is best to make soups (Jordanian Cuisine), medium and rough Freekeh (whole) is great to toss in salads, or to cook with meat, chicken, or to make the stuffing.
Freekeh is very easy to prepare, it takes 15-20 minutes to soften (cracked freekeh), you will need about 2 1/2 cups of water to cook 1 cup of Freekeh. You can also use your rice maker and choose the brown rice option.
Freekeh With Chicken Recipe
This recipe is for Freekeh with chicken that we usually have for lunch or dinner in my family. It’s a traditional recipe that many Jordanian families make at home. You also might be able to find it served in some restaurants in Amman. To make this dish really delicious, we add lightly caramelised fried onions and top it with roasted pine nuts and almonds. This is usually served with plain yogurt and a simple Arabic salad on the side.
For more great Middle Eastern recipes, check out of my Middle Eastern category page.
- 450 grams Freekeh
- 700 ml water or vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- a pinch of salt
- 1 chicken breast or whole
- 1 onion chopped and fried in olive oil
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ½ tsp baharat
- In a saucepan combine freekeh with water or stock, salt, and olive oil. Bring to boil, cover and then allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes or until water is absorbed.
- To roast the chicken simple chop and fry an onion, then place it in a baking dish along with the chicken pieces tossed in baharat, olive oil, and add some water. Roast until chicken is cooked and golden brown.
- Fry fairly long slices of onion in olive oil and top the freekeh with some roasted pine nuts, and almonds. Serve with plain yogurt on the side.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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