Freekeh Chicken with Root Vegetables and Prunes

Freekeh ChickenHere’s an easy one-pot meal with freekeh, chicken, parsnips, carrots, prunes, rosemary, thyme, tons of garlic, and broth. Don’t worry about the amount of garlic cloves that this recipe calls for though. Because the cloves are left whole, you get a more mild garlic taste, plus the whole cloves become sweet when braised. The prunes made a rich marriage between sweet and savoury, plus the tender chicken and chewy grain give you all the great texture!

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup freekeh*
3 ¾ cups broth, vegetarian or chicken
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 ½ medium onions, diced
6-8 carrots medium, chopped
4-6 parsnips depending on size, sliced
9 cloves garlic, whole
1 ½ cup pitted prunes*
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme to taste*
sea salt, fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 tablespoon (or so) olive oil

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 345 degrees F. In a Dutch oven, or any oven proof pot with lid, pour the freekeh and broth in. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove the pot from the oven (careful, it will be hot!) and add all of the remaining ingredients in the pot making sure that some of the prunes and onions get into the liquid below the chicken. Drizzle a little olive oil on all ingredients. Place lid on and put in the oven on the middle rack.

Drop the heat down to 200 degrees F and cook for 1 hour. Check on it, give it a stir, and cook until the chicken is fully opaque, and vegetables are tender. This is usually only about another 15-20 minutes. Note: Cooking times vary. For added browning, remove the lid for a few minutes during the final cooking stage. If you notice the freekeh becoming too dry, you can add more broth or oil at your discretion.

* To learn how to properly clean and check grains, prunes, rosemary and thyme, click here.

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Pre-Fast Meal – Main Course

Lemon Chicken

Roasted Lemon Chicken with Root Vegetables
I got this recipe from my sister Ellie. She is an excellent chef in her own right and a much better baker than me!

Ingredients:

3lb. Chicken
2 small/medium sized lemons, washed
6 cloves garlic
2 ½ teaspoons coarse salt, divided
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 ½ cups of chicken broth
3 Potatoes, cut into wedges
3 Carrots, cut into ½ inch discs
3 Parsnips, cut into ½ inch discs

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the giblets and any fat from the chicken cavity. Roll the lemons on the counter with your hand to soften, then prick with a fork, going all the way through the rind of the flesh. Cut one of the lemons in half. In a small bowl, mash the garlic with 1 ½ teaspoons of the salt until a paste forms. Rub half this paste inside the chicken and then stuff one and one half of the lemons into the cavity. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil to the rest of the garlic paste and rub the mixture on the outside of the chicken. Place the cut up vegetables in a roasting pan, tossing with the remaining salt and oil, and form a make-shift rack for the chicken to rest on. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and pour the broth into the bottom of the pan. Squeeze the juice from the lemon half into the broth. Roast for 60-65 minutes, basting with the pan juices halfway through the cooking time, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees Fahrenheit, juices run clear when pricked with a fork, and the drumstick moves easily in its socket. Cover the chicken and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the pan juices.