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freekeh with chicken 

with zeinab

We venture to Hallousiyeh in SOuthern Lebanon where Zeinab takes us on a Freekeh making adventure. We first head to her neighbor Abu Kassim who teaches is a freekeh producer. He harvests the green wheat about 6 weeks before the wheat harvest and then smokes it in a pile. he then rubs the smoked freekeh between his hands and used a fans to remove all the husks. The final freekeh green wheat can be stored and used in an abundant of southern Lebanese dishes. Zeinab teaches us hwo to make freekeh bi djej or freekeh with chicken. Buttery, sweet, and earthy this was one of the best meals and most interesting grains we have ever eaten!

freekeh with chicken recipe (freekeh bi djej)
serves 5,
1 hour total cooking time
logo lebanon website cedar tree no shado
logo lebanon website cedar tree no shado
logo lebanon website cedar tree no shado

freekeh recipe

smoked freakeh in hand after the harvest
ingredients freekeh
  1. Add the chicken, bay leaves, cinnamon stick,  1 peeled onion, and a tsp of salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil removing the scum as it forms using a slotted spoon. Once boiling, cover and place the pot on low allowing it to simmer as you prepare the freekeh.

  2. In a large stickless pot brown the diced onions in olive oil. 

  3. Wash the freekeh and add it to the browned onions. Continuously stir so that the freekeh doesn't stick. Do this for about 10 minutes. *When we were with Zeinab we kept asking her when should we add the broth and she told us we must wait and continue to cook the freekeh without adding the broth. We were worried about it burning but she insisted that it wouldnt. 

  4. After 10 minutes, stir in a teaspoon of salt and 1.5 teapsoons of seven spices.  Taste teh freekeh and add more salt/seven spicies to taste.

  5.  Strain the chicken broth and be sure to place aside the chicken. Pour the broth into the pot with the freekeh so that the level of liquid is about .5 inches above the freekeh level. Bring this to a boil and then cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed about 30 minutes.

  6. As the freekeh cooks, toast the almonds in some olive oil until they are golden brown. 

  7. Once the freekeh has absorbed the broth and is al dente, serve the freekeh on a plate and dress it with the chicken and almonds.

  • 1 three lb chicken

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 medium onions, 1 peeled, 2 diced

  • 1 pound of freekeh, washed

  • 1.5 tbsp of 7 spices

  • Salt

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • 1 cup of peeled almonds

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