Chicken and Wheat Berries
½ cup (125 mL) wheat berries
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) reduced-sodium chicken stock
1 (15 mL) tablespoon olive oil
2 large skin-on bone-in chicken breasts, each about 10 oz (300 g), cut in half, rinsed and patted dry
3 leeks, white part only, cleaned and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced gingerroot
1 tablespoon (15 mL) ground cumin
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons (10 mL) ﬁnely grated lemon zest
½ cup (125 mL) chopped dried apricots
1 (15 mL) teaspoon melted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup (125 mL) apricot jam
1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon (5 mL) Asian chili sauce, such as sambal oelek
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a shallow 13-by 9-inch (3 L) baking dish.
- In a saucepan, combine wheat berries, water and stock. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. (Wheat berries will not be fully cooked and liquid won’t be completely absorbed.)
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat for 30 seconds. Add chicken, in two batches, and brown, turning once, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add leeks to pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, jalapeño and lemon zest and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add apricots and wheat berries with liquid, stir well and bring to a boil. Transfer to prepared dish and spread evenly.
- Brush skin side of the chicken with melted butter and season to taste with black pepper. Arrange evenly over wheat berry mixture, skin side up. Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes.
- Chili-Apricot Glaze: Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine apricot jam, lemon juice and chili sauce. Pour half of the mixture into a small dish and set aside. Brush skin side of chicken with remainder and return to oven. Roast until chicken is no longer pink inside, about 15 minutes longer. To serve, pour reserved Chili-Apricot Glaze over the sizzling chicken.
- With the addition of chicken stock, you’ll have quite a bit of extra liquid, since the wheat berries should be submerged while baking to ensure they will be tender.
- If your apricot jam is a bit chunky, chop the fruit ﬁnely or process the mixture in a mini-chopper until the jam is puréed and the mixture is blended.
- To clean leeks: Fill sink full of lukewarm water. Split leeks in half lengthwise and submerge in water, swishing them around to remove all traces of dirt. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold water.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Judith Finlayson, from The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook.