UAE- Chicken Freekeh Recipe

When I visit Dubai in the United Aran Emirates, I had a wide variety of food. There were restaurants that I recognised from many different countries, so it is difficult to pick out what is the local cuisine. I found some great Indian restaurants that were very affordable. I also had some Middle Eastern food, with delicious, aromatic spices. This recipe for chicken freekeh is based on a blog by expatwoman. In London, most ingredients were easy to get. However, the freekeh was slightly more difficult to find. In the end I had to go to a more upmarket shop. Later, I saw it at the health food store as well.

If you want to make an easier version of this recipe, then I recommend baking chicken thighs or breasts with the spices. Then that can be served with the sauted freekeh. The whole chicken was tasty, but then you need to cut it.

Dried Freekeh
Dried Freekeh
Lebanese 7 Spice
Lebanese 7 Spice



1 Tbsp olive oil
200 g freekeh
1 litre chicken stock
2 tsp 7 spice
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp paprika
Salt to taste
Pinch of black pepper


2 Tbsp Extra virgin Olive oil
1 Tsp Salt
1⁄2 tsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Paprika
1⁄3 Tbsp 7 spice
1⁄2 Tbsp Coriander Powder
2 and 1⁄2 Tbsp Lemon
2 Whole Baby Chickens or 1 small chicken
Handful of almonds
Handful of pine nuts


First, wash and drain the Freekeh a few times until clean.

Next, in a sauce pan, combine olive oil and spices, toss for few minutes until fragrant. Heat over medium for a few minutes. Then add the freekeh and sauté for another 5 minutes.

Afterwards add chicken stock. Bring to boil, cover and cook for 30-40 minutes on a low heat. The freekeh should be cooked but still have a chewy texture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a small bowl, mix all the spices. First, rub chicken with the oil, then with spices. Sprinkle the lemon juice on top.

Take some of the cooked freekeh and stuff the chicken with it, cross the legs and tie with a twine. Place the chicken in a roasting tray, cover with foil and roast for 60-80 minutes on 180 C. Allow the chicken to rest before serving (keeping it covered).

Serve stuffed chicken on top of left-over cooked freekeh. Sprinkle with roasted nuts such as sliced almonds and pine nuts. It can also be served with minted yogurt on the side.

Sautéing the freekeh
Sautéing the freekeh
Chicken ready to roast with spices
Chicken ready to roast with spices

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