Apricot, chicken and freekeh salad

You can use bulgur wheat, couscous or even rice instead of freekeh if you prefer.
200g/8oz halloumi could replace the chicken thighs. Slice it into thick slices and fry it on both sides without oil in a frying pan until lightly browned. Then cut up into 2 ½cm/1” squares and add to the salad when the chicken is added.

You may only be able to buy pre cooked freekeh, in which case you will need 235g of it. You won’t need the vegetable stock listed below. Following the instructions on the packet cook until hot and then add in step 5.



  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C/395F/Gas mark 6. Put the chicken thighs on a roasting tin and squeeze the juice of half of one lemon over them. Scatter the demerara sugar, salt and pepper and mixed spice over the thighs. Put in the oven for 25-30 minutes until roasted.
  2. Put the pecans on a roasting tray and put in the oven for 5-8 minutes until toasted. (It’s easy to burn nuts in the oven, so don’t forget to set the timer.)
  3. Put the freekeh and stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the freekeh is cooked. Drain.
  4. To make the dressing, squeeze the unused lemon to create 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice. In a small bowl add a pinch of salt and a good amount of freshly ground pepper to the lemon juice, stir to dissolve the salt. Add the oil olive mix well and taste, add more salt if needed.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked remove from the oven. Remove the thigh bones and chop the meat up roughly. Divide the hot freekeh between two bowls or plates and add the chicken and any juices left in the tray. Add the apricot, pecans and coriander and then pour on the dressing, stir well to combine and serve.