The first sign of spring made a strong and very welcome first appearance this weekend, and had me reaching for a recipe that would go with the sunny weather. Light, fresh and seriously delicious, this lemony grilled chicken breast with saffron spiced freekeh and a zingy zahtar dressing is the perfect recipe to add a spring to your step.
If you’re a regular HelloFresh-er then chances are you will be pretty familiar with my favourite supergrain, freekeh (for the record, it’s pronounced free-kah!). Yes, it may sound a little free-ky, but freekeh is the unsung hero of the supergrain squad. With more protein and twice as much fiber than quinoa, I’d be surprised if this little grain doesn’t start making a more regular appearance in your own recipes!
Before you start prepping the chicken, preheat your grill to medium-high. Place the chicken breasts on a foil lined baking tray and massage a little olive oil, salt and pepper and a pinch of lemon zest into your chicken before setting to one side. Remember: After handling raw chicken, always wash your hands to make sure you don’t cross-contaminate!
Cut the shallot in half through the root, peel and then slice into thin half moon shapes. The best way to peel your garlic clove is by crushing it lightly with the flat of a knife or the heel of your hand. Ta da! This makes it much easier to finely chop your garlic clove .
This is where things get freekeh! Put a saucepan on medium heat and add a splash of oil. Add your chopped shallot and cook for 5 mins until softened (it will look a little bit translucent). Now add your garlic and saffron and cook for a further minute. Add the water to the pan, bring to the boil and add the freekeh. Season with a generous pinch of salt and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Cook your freekeh for 15 mins.
Grilled Chicken Saffron 11
Whilst the freekeh cooks, place your chicken under the grill and cook for 20 mins. Turn after 10 mins to make sure both sides colour evenly. Want to know when the chicken is ready? Insert a fork into the skin. It should go in easily and the juices should run clear - if the juice is slightly pink, keep cooking!
To make the zahtar dressing, roughly chop the parsley and mint. Cut the chilli in half lengthways, scrape out the seeds and then finely chop. Spoon the zahtar spice into a small bowl and add a squeeze of lemon juice, a quarter of your chopped parsley, all your mint and a splash of oil per person. Mix well and add a pinch of salt and as much chilli as you can handle!
By now, your freekeh should have absorbed most of the water, and it should still have a slight bite to it (but not tooth-braking!) Remove from the heat and drain off any excess liquid through a sieve. Return your freekeh to the pan off the heat and stir in the baby spinach until it has completely wilted (Tip: cover the pan with a lid for rapid spinach wilting!) Mix in your remaining parsley and a good splash of the lemon juice. Taste and add more salt and black pepper if necessary.
Slice each chicken breast into six even slices and serve on top of a generous portion of freekeh. Finish by drizzling over your zahtar dressing.