Freekeh is an ancient variety of wheat that is harvested while green and then roasted for a fantastically nutty, smoky flavor. Package directions call for simmering on low for up to 25 minutes, but here it's cooked a little more quickly by raising the temperature to medium. Substitute couscous, quinoa, or rice if you can't find freekeh. If you can find fresh apricots, swap them in for dried, increasing the amount to 1 cup.
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/4 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided
1 cup freekeh (young green cracked wheat)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1/2 cup dry Marsala wine
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
How to Make It
Combine 1 1/2 cups water, 1 cup stock, freekeh, 3/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer 18 minutes or until tender.
Combine remaining 1/4 cup stock, Marsala, and apricots in a small bowl.
Sprinkle chicken with remaining 3/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 7 minutes or until done, turning once. Add apricot mixture to pan; cook 2 minutes. Stir in butter; remove from heat. Place about 3/4 cup freekeh mixture into each of 4 shallow bowls. Top each serving with 1 chicken thigh; divide sauce evenly among servings, and sprinkle evenly with basil.
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Yes, 25 minutes, and it was really good. I did add a little cornstarch to the sauce because it wasn't thickening (although it was reducing) and a little ground red pepper to the chicken. Otherwise made as described and it's very tasty. Served with steamed swiss chard.
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