Chicken and freekeh salad with pomegranate

Chicken and freekeh salad with pomegranate
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 40 min, oven time 25-30 min

Joudie Kalla’s spicy and herby chicken salad is a recipe from her home country of Palestine – it’s great to take on a summer picnic.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
537kcals
Fat
14g (2.1g saturated)
Protein
44.7g
Carbohydrates
57.1g (19.5g sugars)
Fibre
10.7g
Salt
0.3g
Calories
537kcals
Fat
14g (2.1g saturated)
Protein
44.7g
Carbohydrates
57.1g (19.5g sugars)
Fibre
10.7g
Salt
0.3g

Ingredients

  • 200g freekeh
  • 4 free-range skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses (see know-how)
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp za’atar (see know-how)
  • Large bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 5 spring onions, chopped diagonally
  • Bunch fresh chives, snipped
  • Seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 100g wild rocket
  • 1 red chilli, sliced diagonally

For the dressing

  • 30ml cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • ½ tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 50ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp za’atar

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/ gas 5. Bring a large pan of water to the boil over a high heat. Add the freekeh and cook for about 30 minutes or until tender. Do check, as large grains will take longer to cook. When ready, the grains will feel slightly springy when pressed between your finger and thumb, similar to cooked pearl barley.
  2. Once cooked, remove the freekeh from the heat, drain and put in a large bowl. Allow it to cool a little – I like to keep it slightly warm as it soaks up more of the flavour of the dressing.
  3. Meanwhile, put the chicken breasts in a baking tray and drizzle over the 4 tbsp pomegranate molasses. Scatter over the dried mint and za’atar, then season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (the juices should run clear when pierced with a skewer in the thickest part). Allow to cool slightly, then slice thinly. Retain the juices.
  4. Add the chopped parsley, spring onions and chives to the freekeh and mix through. Add the pomegranate seeds, chicken and its juices, rocket and chilli, then combine well.
  5. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, then toss through the salad, reserving a little to serve on the side.

delicious. tips

  1. Prepare the dressing up to 1 week in advance and keep in a sealed box in the fridge.

  2. Freekeh is a type of roasted green wheat with a nutty, sometimes smoky, flavour.

    Za’atar is a Middle Eastern mix of dried herbs, spices and seeds.

    Pomegranate molasses has a balanced sweet-sour flavour.

    Find them all in the world food or spice aisles of large supermarkets. Or stock up online at ottolenghi.co.uk.

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