First things first, what is freekah? Freekah is a type of wheat that is harvested while it is still young and green. The wheat is then roasted on an open fire where any straw and chaff are burned and rubbed off. The flavour is earthy, nutty and even a bit smokey. In terms of nutritional benefits they are a powerhouse being high in fiber and protein while also containing iron and zink. This recipe is a family favourite especially in winter time. The texture of this particular dish is actually like risotto and is perfect when it is a really cold night. The recipe is super easy and can be on the table in less than half an hour, making it a perfect weeknight comfort dinner. I hope you try this one out, it is simply delicious (if I do say so myself)!
RECIPE (serves 4)
3 tbsp olive oil
500g chicken thighs
4 cups of chopped mushrooms (I used a combination of oyster, cremini and enoki)
2 cups freekah (rinsed under cold water)
1 cube porcini stock cube (I got mine from Coles Supermarket)
2 cups cold water
1 bunch of chopped parsley
1 clove crushed garlic
½ finely diced red onion
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large pinch of salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
¼ cup slicked almonds (lightly toasted)
Preheat a nonstick pot with two tbsp of olive oil. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the pan when it is hot with a sprinkle of salt.
In a separate pot place the water, freekah and stock cube. When the water starts to boil, lower the heat to medium and place a lid on it. Allow to cook for 10 minutes stirring regularly until the water is completely absorbed.
Remove the chicken from the pan when it is cooked through and set it aside.
To the same pot add the onion and garlic. When it becomes aromatic, add the mushrooms along with a tbsp of olive oil, the parsley and a sprinkle of salt. Sauté the mushrooms for five minutes until they start to cook down.
When the mushrooms are cooked, add the cooked chicken and freekah.
Stir really well and place a lid on it. Lower the heat to medium and allow to cook for two minutes for the flavours to develop.
Plate up the freekah topping each one with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of the toasted flaked almonds.
TIP: This recipe can easily be made vegetarian by removing the chicken, simply begin with the mushrooms and the remainder of the recipe is the same.