Stewed Freekeh + Chicken w/ Asparagus + Lemon Oil

Stewed Freekeh + Chicken w/ Asparagus + Lemon Oil
EE Berger

Chicken leg quarters are an entire quarter of the bird‚ÄĒthigh and drumstick still attached. They feel¬† somewhat decadent because of their size and the volume of skin that gets crispy when finished in the¬† oven. With this volume of meat, I tend to have leftovers. Simply pick the meat from the bone, discarding any remaining skin, and then add the meat to the stew for ease of reheating. Stewed freekeh can be done in the oven or on the stovetop, depending on your day‚ÄĒjust note that cooking in¬† the oven will take a bit longer because the heat is indirect versus the direct heat of a burner. Note:¬† Opt for the thicker asparagus stalks; they‚Äôre easier to shave thinly.

Subscribe today for full access to this recipe and hundreds more!

You can now find Salt + Spine on Substack, where our latest episodes and recipes live.
Get bonus content, exclusive recipes, and subscriber-only posts today for less than a cup of coffee a month.


Stewed Freekeh + Chicken w/ Asparagus

  • Neutral oil¬†
  • 4 chicken leg quarters (2 lb [900 g])¬†
  • Salt¬†
  • 1 cup [150 g] freekeh¬†
  • ¬Ĺ cup [125 ml] white wine or hard cider¬†
  • 1 onion (about 8 oz [225 g]), thinly sliced¬†
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced¬†
  • 1 lemon, cut into small chunks (seeds removed, ideally)¬†
  • 8 oz [225 g] asparagus¬†
  • ¬ľ cup [60 ml] Coriander Lemon Oil¬†¬†
  • Parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)¬†

Coriander Lemon Oil

  • ¬ľ cup [60 ml] neutral oil¬†
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seed¬†
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seed¬†
  • Zest of 1 lemon¬†¬†
  • ¬ľ cup [60 ml] olive oil


Stewed Freekeh + Chicken w/ Asparagus

  1. Preheat the oven to 400¬įF [200¬įC]. In a large ovenproof frying pan, heat a glug of neutral oil over high heat. Pat the chicken leg quarters dry and season liberally with salt.¬†
  2. Sear the chicken, skin side-down, until the skin is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the chicken,  add the freekeh, and turn down the heat to medium. Toast the grains in the hot oil for about 1 minute. 
  3. Add the white wine to deglaze the pan and reduce the wine by half. Add the onion, garlic, and lemon chunks and a big pinch of salt. 
  4. Add 4 cups [1 L] of water and place the chicken legs, skin-side up, on top of the mixture. Place the pan in  the oven and roast until the freekeh is tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. 
  5. Shave the asparagus into thin ribbons with a mandoline, sharp knife, or vegetable peeler. 
  6. To serve, dress the shaved asparagus with the coriander oil and a big pinch of salt, adding a flurry of  chopped parsley (if using). 
  7. Portion the chicken into serving dishes and top each with a mound of asparagus salad.

Coriander Lemon Oil

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the neutral oil over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer, about 1 minute. Add the coriander, fennel, and lemon zest, turn the heat to low, and allow them to bloom in the  hot oil until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  2. Remove from the heat and add the olive oil to cool the neutral oil. Allow to steep for 10 minutes before  using.

Reprinted from Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes by Abra Berens  with permission from Chronicle Books, 2021. Photographs © EE Berger.

^ TOP ^