Melissa's Produce. I can barely pronounce quinoa, and now here I am with another strange-sounding grain. A little research taught me that freekeh is a roasted green wheat, and that for a grain, it's high-fiber, high-protein, and low-carb. So now that I knew what it was, what the heck was I supposed to DO with it? Theoretically, you could use it in place of any recipe that uses rice or quinoa or couscous, but I stumbled upon this Bon Appetit recipe that not only uses freekeh, but kale. Regular readers know about my (weird) obsession with kale, so it should come as no surprise that I had to try this!
As I started making it, I realized I was going to need to modify. There was no sherry vinegar in our cabinets....or cumin seeds....and I wasn't crazy about the instructions/method of cooking everything. Instead I modified a bit, and my adaptation is what you'll find below.
Have you tried freekeh? How did you use it? I still have some left!
One Year Ago: Black Beans and Coconut Lime Rice
Two Years Ago: Poppyseed Bread
Chicken with Kale and Freekeh-Lentil Pilaf
from Bon Appetit January 2012
*serves 2 (I modified to serve with no leftovers, but feel free to double)
for the vinaigrette:
-1 tsp ground cumin
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1 tsp whole grain mustard
-juice from 1/2 of 1 small lemon
for the pilaf and chicken:
-1-2 tbsp olive oil
-2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cutlets
-1 tbsp butter
-1 garlic clove, smashed
-1/2 lb kale, center ribs and stems removed, torn into pieces
-1/2 cup cooked freekeh (could do ahead of time)
-1/2 cup cooked lentils (could do ahead of time)
1. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
2. Heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil over a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Season chicken with salt. Cook chicken in single layers until browned on both sides and just cooked through (2-3 minutes per side). Transfer to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Set aside.
3. Add 1/4 cup of water to skillet with the vinaigrette, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Pour into a large bowl.
4. Add butter to the same skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, just until brown. Discard garlic. Add kale to skillet (add more oil if necessary) and toss until wilted (may need to do this in multiple batches). Transfer to a bowl and season with salt.
5. Add freekeh and lentils (both cooked already) to the same skillet and increase heat to medium. Stir until warm, 2-3 minutes. Pour into the bowl with the vinaigrette and toss to combine everything. Divide onto plates and top with kale and cooked chicken.