Stuffed chicken served over Freekeh with dried nuts and fruit is a delicious dish with many flavors that come together beautifully. This recipe is a guest feature thanks to Mai of Almond and Fig!
Djej Mahshi (Stuffed Chicken) with Freekeh
In a heavy pot, heat the oil, add the meat and sauté breaking it up with the wooden spoon. About 8-10 minutes until it’s browned.
Add the cleaned freekeh, spices, bay leaf, and toss with the meat for 5 minutes until it’s slightly toasted.
Add the stock or water and bring the mixture to boil, adjusting the seasoning.
Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 40-60 minutes until all the liquid has absorbed and the freekeh is cooked through. The freekeh shouldn’t be crunchy but it needs to hold its shape, it’s naturally chewy and al Dante.
Fluff with a fork. Add the dried fruits and nuts (prep. instructions below) and fluff gently to combine.
Set aside while we prep the chicken.
Nuts & Fruit
I like to toast the nuts in a dry skillet for a few minutes until they are fragrant and toasted a bit (if they burn they will be bitter. We are looking for a light toasty color.
Tip: If you are using an assortment of nuts, please toast them separately as they have different oil content and cooking times.
In a small bowl, mix all the spices and olive oil together
Rub the spice mixture all over the chicken and inside the cavity
You can prep this step the night before (wrapped in plastic wrap) letting the spices and salt marinate the chicken. If I don’t have time feel I cook the chicken right away it’s not a problem.
Spoon the freekeh mixture into the cavity of the chicken. Cross the chicken legs and tie them with a twine.
Place the chickens in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil all over the top, about a tbls per chicken
Roast for 20 minutes then reduce the heat to 375F for another 40-60 minutes or until the chicken is browned and juices run clear.
Allow the chicken to rest covered with foil before carving.
Serve the stuffing along side a piece of the tender roasted meat
You can also use a Hashweh stuffing if you don’t want to use freekeh. Recipe here. This method would work to stuff any other cut of meat like a leg of lamb. Serve any extra freekeh stuffing on the side. Or it’s perfect made into a salad the next day.
This dish is often served with a savory yogurt and a simple cucumber and tomatoes salad.