Freekeh is one of the best grains out there, quickly earning a reputation as the newest “supergrain.” Freekeh is green and nutty and has this amazing aroma when cooked. It is also replete with whole grain sources of fiber and offers a whopping 7 grams of protein per serving.
So, this freekeh-stuffed poultry dish is definitely good for you. Palestinians love adding spices and herbs to food, especially nearer the coastal areas where they are in abundance. Freekeh is used in many stuffings and food combinations because it is filling, hearty and packed with nutrition. It works really well with chicken, but I prefer Cornish game hens. The herbs in this dish are bursting with flavor, and whether serving your family or dinner-party guests, this dish is sure to be a fan favorite.
Poulet Stuffed With Herb-Infused Freekeh
2 cups (10 ½ oz / 300 g) freekeh
1 cup (3 ½ oz / 100 g) chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 cup (1 ¾ oz / 50 g) chopped fresh chives
1 bunch of fresh mint
3 cup (6 oz / 170 g) chopped fresh cilantro
4 scallions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp red-pepper flakes
Grated zest and juice of lemon
3 tbsps olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
6 poussin or Cornish game hens
Yogurt dip to serve
Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). In a bowl, combine all the ingredients, except your poultry and yogurt dip, and taste for flavor. Place the mixture into the cavities of your poultry of choice and place in a deep baking dish.
Season your poultry with extra salt and pepper, and drizzle of olive oil on top. Add water to the bottom of the dish so the lower half of the chicken is submerged. Cover dish with aluminum foil and roast for about one hour or until cooked through. The liquid will combine flavors from the poultry, herbs and freekeh, creating a delicious sauce.
Once cooked, ladle sauce over each hen, or whole chicken, and serve with a little yogurt dip alongside.
Reprinted with permission from Baladi Palestine,
Joudie Kalla, 2019, Interlink Books, 978-1-62371-981-4, $35 hb, www.interlinkbooks.com.
has been a chef for over 20 years. She trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine, London, and worked in many prestigious restaurants before going on to run her own successful catering business. She opened a Palestinian deli, Baity Kitchen, in London, from 2010–2013 to much acclaim before turning her sights to writing her first bestselling cookbook Palestine on a Plate
. She runs cooking classes, catering events and pop-up supper clubs, and she consults on food projects.