Prep 3 hrs
Cook 3 hrs
Freekeh cooked into a pilaf and served with boiled and broiled chicken is a typical Arab dish served when guests come over. It is served on a platter, topped with the chicken, roasted almonds and pine nuts, and a yogurt salad and/or lemony salad on the side. Freekeh is pre-roasted so don't be surprised when the soaking water turns ashy in color.
- 3 lbs wheat, freekeh
- 2 whole chickens, cut into serving pieces
- 2 onions
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup almonds, slivered and toasted
- 1 cup pine nuts, toasted
- Soak the freekeh in plenty of water, it will start to absorb right away.
- Cover chicken with water in large pot.
- Bring to boil.
- Skim the scum off the top until broth is clear.
- Add two onions, cut in half, to remove any bad odors from the chicken.
- Simmer for another half hour.
- Remove chicken from broth. Set aside.
- Strain broth.
- Rinse freekeh, drain well.
- In a large pot, add olive oil to cover bottom and fry freekeh in it for a couple minutes.
- Add some of the broth, without measuring, to cover.
- Simmer slowly, covered.
- Add broth to keep from drying out.
- If you run out of broth, use water.
- Cook for an hour or more, making sure it does not get too dry.
- A half an hour before serving, heat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix tomato paste, olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika.
- Put chicken on baking tray and brush with tomato/oil mixture.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken gets a nice toasty finish to it.
- To serve, put freekeh on large tray. Top with chicken. Sprinkle with almonds and pine nuts.
- Serve with a yogurt salad made of plain yogurt, cucumber, dried mint, chopped green onions, and some salt to taste. Also, serve a salad of finely chopped tomato, cucumber, onion, green pepper, carrot, etc with a dressing of lemon and olive oil.