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chicken freekeh with peas and nuts in a bowl

Chicken Freekeh Pilaf

  • Author: Samara
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 5 1x


This spiced chicken freekeh recipe with peas and nuts is a family favorite. It's packed with flavor and warm, hearty spices.


Units Scale
  • 2 lbs (1kg) bone-in chicken breasts and legs
  • 1 and 1/2 cups dry freekeh
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup raw nuts

Freekeh Spices

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp seven spices
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp sea salt +more to taste

Chicken Spices

  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp whole caraway
  • 5-6 cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, and add the chicken. Sear for about a minute on each side, then add the chicken spices, onion (cut in quarters), and at least 6 cups (about 1.5 liters) of hot water. Cover and boil for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. 
  2. Once the chicken is fully cooked, start on the freekeh. Melt 2 tbsp of ghee in a medium-sized nonstick pot on medium heat, and add the washed freekeh along with the freekeh spices. Fry while stirring continuously for 5-6 minutes or until the freekeh gets an even color. 
  3. Pour around 3 cups of the broth the chicken was cooking in on to the freekeh, or enough broth to cover it. Cover and let boil for 30-35 minutes or until tender. 
  4. Once the freekeh is cooked, take the pot off the stove, add in the frozen peas, cover, and let steam for 10 minutes. 
  5. Fluff freekeh with a fork and transfer to your serving dish. Shred the chicken and add on top. 
  6. Fry the nuts in another 2 tbsp of ghee until they're golden brown (stirring continuously), then pour on top of the freekeh.


  • Save any remaining broth for soups, curries, stews, rice, etc. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Syrian


  • Serving Size: 1/5 of Recipe
  • Calories: 519 calories
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 530 mg
  • Fat: 34 g
  • Saturated Fat: 12 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 22 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 35 g
  • Cholesterol: 12 mg

Keywords: freekeh, freekeh recipe, chicken freekeh, chicken with peas, freekeh with peas, Syrian food, freekeh with nuts, chicken, chicken broth, ghee, fried nuts, pine nuts, Syrian lunch, Syrian recipes, family recipes

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