Prep Time: 5 minutesCook Time: 45 minutes
By: Yumna Jawad | Feel Good Foodie
Freekeh with chicken is an easy weeknight meal that is such a delicious, hearty and healthy family dinner. This Lebanese dish is packed full of flavor, high in protein from the chicken and made with whole grain freekeh – it’s perfect for serving a crowd.
If you are looking for a dish that will add some variety to your weekly meal rotation, this Lebanese freekeh with chicken could be just what you are looking for! So flavorful and so easy to make!
What is freekeh?
Freekeh (also called frikeh or farik) is a grain made from green durum wheat that is roasted and then rubbed to create its flavor. Loaded with protein and fiber, this ancient grain is simple to cook and is a great substitute for rice in dishes.
How to make freekeh with chicken
1. Cook the onions with some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan until they become lightly brown.
2. Add the soaked freekeh to the onions with some water and cook until the water has evaporated.
3. Fluff the freekeh with a fork, remove from the pan and set to one side.
4. In the same pan, cook the chicken (or you can cook it in a different pan to save time) until its golden and cooked through.
1. Cook the nuts and chicken in another skillet to save time. For this recipe I cook everything in one skillet starting with the freekeh, then the nuts and finally the chicken. But you can work with 2 or even 3 pans simultaneously to save time.
2. Allow 30 minutes to soak your cracked freekeh. This will help to clean the grains and will ensure that your freekeh is properly cooked as the soaking will help it soften and the texture will be just right. You can soak for up to 24 hours even!
3. Let the freekeh stand for 5 minutes once you’ve cooked it. This allows the grains to soak up any excess water and let them plump and soften further, similar to cooking rice.
Frequently asked questions
Where can I buy freekeh for this chicken dish?
Freekeh is now widely available in stores and you will find it in the grain isle with quinoa or teff. You should be able to find it in your local supermarket. Whole Foods and Walmart both sell it.
Can you freeze freekeh after it’s cooked?
Freekeh freezes really well and I often make a large batch when I cook it to grab for easy meals in the future. Cook the freekeh as directed and then let it cool completely to room temperature. Transfer it to an airtight container or freezer bags and freeze it. I like to freeze the freekeh in portions and place it in bags to save room in the freezer. You can reheat the grains from frozen in the microwave or on the stovetop.
What’s the difference between cracked freekeh and whole freekeh?
Wholegrain freekeh is the whole grain and cracked freekeh is the whole grain that has been cracked into smaller pieces. Cracked freekeh is more widely available in stores and easier to cook with. Whole grain freekeh will require a longer soaking time.
If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Freekeh with Chicken recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
For the Freekeh
2 cups cracked freekeh
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion diced
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Chicken and Nuts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
½ cup blanched almonds
1.5-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon allspice or cinnamon
Chopped parsley for serving
1. Pick over freekeh to remove any debris, and rinse in cold water until water looks clear. Soak the freekeh in cold water for 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer the freekeh over the cooked onions, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Add 3 cups of water, turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat to low. Cook until the freekeh is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring a couple times.
4. Season the chicken on both sides generously with salt and pepper and allspice.
5. Transfer cooked freekeh to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.
6. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel, then heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat. Add almonds and fry, stirring, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove almonds and set aside.
7. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet on medium heat and transfer the seasoned chicken to the skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes on one side without touching, then flip over and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through.
8. Lay the chicken on top of the cooked freekeh. Top with reserved fried almonds and garnish with parsley.
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3 days in the fridge and can be reheated on the stovetop. The freekeh can be frozen and reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Nutritional Data: The information below is an automated estimate for the chicken tenders. It could vary based on cooking methods and ingredients used.
Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 373mg | Potassium: 280mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 60IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 51mg | Iron: 2mg