Freekeh is wheat that is harvested when it is still young and full of protein. The wheat is roasted and has a slightly nutty flavor and chewy texture. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, and is full of fiber. This dish is an easy dinner for 2 any night of the week.
2 chicken legs, skin on
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 scallions, tips trimmed
1 clove garlic, peeled
½ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, and seeds removed
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 ounce apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, or white wine
1 cup freekeh, rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
1 ½ cups chicken broth, at a light simmer
Optional garnishes: 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts and/ or fresh cilantro
Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside.
Roughly chop the scallions, garlic, cilantro, and poblano. Transfer to a mini blender and start to blend. Pour in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and blend to a smooth paste, along with the spices.
Heat up a medium sized pot with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and sear the chicken legs, skin side down first, about 5 minutes. When they are nice and brown, turn them over and cook on the other side for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Drain off any excess oil and add the liquid to deglaze the pan. Rapidly scrape up any protein bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the freekeh and stir. Once the liquid has evaporated from the rice (1-2 minutes), add the herb paste and stir well. Cook for a few more minutes, then nestle the chicken pieces in the freekeh, and pour in the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and cover. Cook until the broth has been absorbed and the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes.