Chicken, peach and freekeh salad

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Serves 4


For the freekeh
150g freekeh
25g unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley stems
300ml chicken stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

1 tbsp olive oil
500g skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
Watercress or other robust salad greens, any coarse stalks removed
Large handfuls of mint and parsley leaves
1 large ripe peach (or 2-3 of the flat sort), peeled and cut into chunks
A few fresh or dried rose petals
Put the freekeh in a large bowl and cover generously with water. Leave for
5 min, then drain.

2. Heat the butter in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over a low heat for about 5 min, until softened. Add the allspice and parsley stems. Add the drained freekeh and stir for 2 min until well coated with the buttery onions.

3. Pour in the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cover. Simmer gently until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave to steam with the lid on for a few minutes.

4. Meanwhile, cook the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and brown quickly on all sides.

5. Mix the lemon juice, orange juice and pomegranate molasses and pour half of this mixture over the chicken. Continue to cook the chicken, stirring frequently, until it has taken on a sheen from the molasses and is cooked through. If it crisps up on the edges, even better.

6. Arrange the watercress on a large serving platter and cover with the freekeh, forking it up slightly. Add half the chicken, herbs and peach and gently fold into the freekeh.

7. Scatter the remaining ingredients on top with the rose petals and pour on the remaining pomegranate dressing. This is best served at room temperature.

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