Freekeh (Roasted Green Wheat) With Chicken - a Traditional Arab

"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."
photo by Cookie Jarvis photo by Cookie Jarvis
photo by Cookie Jarvis
photo by Cookie Jarvis photo by Cookie Jarvis
Ready In:




  • 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.

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I live in Jordan and enjoy cooking up cultural dishes. My favorite cookbooks include an old beat up copy of Betty Crocker and The Frugal Gourmet's cookbook with foods from different countries.
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