Grilled Chicken Salad with Freekeh, Preserved Lemon & Dried Cherries
To marinate chicken: If you are using chicken breasts, cut them in half crosswise or, if they're particularly thick, cut them in half horizontally. Mix 1/4 cup each oil and lemon juice, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a dish (or gallon-size sealable plastic bag). Add the chicken and turn the pieces to coat. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. About 30 minutes before you're ready to cook, remove the chicken from the refrigerator.Advertisement
To prepare salad: Put cherries in a small saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand until plump, about 30 minutes. Drain.
Put freekeh in a medium saucepan, cover with 2 inches water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain.
Whisk oil, lemon juice, vinegar, honey, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the freekeh, the cherries, preserved lemon and all but 1 tablespoon each of the herbs; stir until combined.
To prepare chicken: Heat a ridged grill pan over medium-high heat until it is very hot or preheat a grill to medium-high.
Remove the chicken from the marinade. For a grill pan: Cook for 2 minutes on each side, then reduce heat to medium and cook, turning once or twice more, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165 degrees F, 4 to 6 minutes more. For a grill: Grill for 5 to 7 minutes per side. Serve the chicken on top of the salad, garnished with the remaining 1 tablespoon each mint and parsley.
Make Ahead Tip: Marinate chicken (Step 1) for up to 4 hours.
It's tricky to find individual chicken breasts small enough for one portion. Removing the thin strip of meat from the underside of a 5-ounce breast--the chicken tender--removes about 1 ounce of meat and yields a perfect 4-ounce portion. Wrap and freeze the tenders and when you have gathered enough, use them in a stir-fry or for oven-baked chicken fingers. If you can only find large chicken breasts, you'll need just 1 breast for 2 servings--remove the tender and cut it in half crosswise before cooking.
Freekeh is wheat that's been harvested when it's still young, roasted and then cracked into a grain that looks similar to bulgur. Relatively new to the U.S., the chewy whole grain has a mild nutty flavor and is higher in fiber, protein and minerals than grains that are harvested once fully mature. Look for it in well-stocked supermarkets and natural-foods stores.
Preserved lemons--lemons that have been soaked in a salt-lemon mixture for at least 30 days--add a distinctive salty-sour flavor common in North African salads, soups and stews. Look for them in specialty food stores.
1 1/2 starch, 1 fruit, 4 lean meat, 4 fat