Crispy Chicken Thighs with Freekeh Salad

This recipe for Crispy Chicken Thighs with Freekeh Salad is topped with a delightful kumquat relish and is totally plate-licking good! This sweet, citrusy relish pairs oh-so-perfectly with the cheesy freekeh salad and crispy chicken!

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Freekeh Salad

When I first came across this recipe, I have to admit I was equal parts curious and intimidated.

I went through the full Jessie Spano range of emotions,

“I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I’m so… scared!”

before settling into a calm, cool, and collected Barney Stinson:

“Challenge Accepted!”

Blue Apron Meals Fresh Produce: Beet, Heirloom Carrot and Hazelnut Salad

Paul made my sassy little sous chef a wooden learning tower so the chickpea could help in the kitchen.

It’s been very well seasoned by food, paint, and crayons over the past few months and allows my little mini-me to get a hands on experience with food at an early age.

Clearly she was super interested in the rainbow chard – can you blame her? It’s so vibrant!

Let’s get cooking!

Suddenly the once-intimidating ingredients became easy peasy to work with and I loved learning a few new chef-crafted techniques along the way.

In the recipe below, I would have never thought to dice up the stem of the rainbow chard after removing the leaves from it and I adored the foil and pan trick for the crispy chicken. We expected to love the salmon dish the most since it was closest to our usual eats, but holy freekeh, batman – this dish was amazing.

I already want to make it again! Especially the freekeh salad – it was freekeh awesome lol!

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Freekeh Salad Recipe

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Freekeh Salad

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Zesty Kumquat Relish and Warm Freekeh Salad :: superfoods that are SUPER good!
5 from 3 votes

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Kumquat Relish and Freekeh Salad

This recipe for Crispy Chicken Thighs with Freekeh Salad is topped with a delightful kumquat relish and is totally plate-licking good! This sweet, citrusy relish pairs oh-so-perfectly with the cheesy freekeh salad and crispy chicken!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Fusion
Keyword Crispy Chicken Thighs
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 658 kcal


  • 2 chicken thighs (see note)
  • 3/4 cup cracked freekeh
  • 1 bunch rainbow chard
  • a few sprigs of tarragon
  • 2 oz fresh kumquats
  • 1 oz Pecorino cheese
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 TBSP champagne vinegar
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1/4 cup almonds


  1. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling, add the freekeh. Cook, stirring occasionally, 18 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a bowl.

While the freekeh cooks, prep your produce:

  1. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Thinly slice the kumquats into rounds. Separate the rainbow chard leaves and stems; roughly chop the leaves and thinly slice the stems, keeping them separate. Pick the tarragon leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Using your hands or a small knife, break the pecorino cheese into small pieces. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Roughly chop the almonds.
  2. While the freekeh continues to cook, heat a medium pan on medium-high until hot. Add the kumquats, shallot, vinegar, sugar and ¼ cup of water; season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool. Wipe out the pan.
  3. Next pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  4. Using the pan used to make the relish, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin side down; loosely cover with aluminum foil. Place a large, heavy pot on top of the foil to press the chicken down; fill the pot halfway with water. Cook, occasionally pressing the pot down, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the skin is browned and crispy. Set the pot aside. Flip the chicken; cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate, leaving any drippings and browned bits in the pan.
  5. Next add rainbow chard stems and 2 tablespoons of water to the pan you used to cook the chicken. Cook, stirring frequently, for about a minute, or until slightly tender. Add the rainbow chard leaves; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to the bowl of cooked freekeh.
  6. Add the pecorino cheese and almonds to the bowl of cooked freekeh and rainbow chard. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the tarragon into the kumquat relish. Divide the freekeh salad and chicken between 2 dishes.

  7. Top with the kumquat relish. Faceplant.

Recipe Notes

This recipe calls for bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. You could also use whichever cuts you happen to have handy as well as easily adapt this dish to work with seared seafood or crispy pan-fried tofu! Recipe courtesy of Blue Apron.

Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Crispy Chicken Thighs with Kumquat Relish and Freekeh Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 658 Calories from Fat 297
% Daily Value*
Fat 33g51%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 125mg42%
Sodium 313mg14%
Potassium 543mg16%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 40g80%
Vitamin A 1697IU34%
Vitamin C 21mg25%
Calcium 267mg27%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you get a chance to try this Crispy Chicken Thighs with Freekeh Salad, let me know!

You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Freekeh Salad and Kumquat Relish

The verdict:

We LOVED it! I’m absolutely making the soup again… and the freekeh salad of course!

Ooh and the kumquat relish… and the glazed beets and carrots.. and… I think you get the point. I don’t gush for the sake of gushing, and I am seriously crushing on Blue Apron right now. P and I already decided we’re going to order again before our move, since our fridge will be beyond bare at that point and a little dropbox of food would save us from fast food blah-dom. There’s even a full online collection of free recipes on their site!

Ohmygosh and I cannot write this review without mentioning the fact that THIS RECIPE GOT MY HUSBAND TO EAT BEETS AND LIKE IT!!!

I’m scream-squealing. Be very, very glad you can’t hear me right now. I’ve been trying every trick in the book to get him to even lick a beet and nothing has worked. Yet shove him in the kitchen with a Iron Chef-esque box of produce and a challenge and suddenly he’s a beet munching, rainbow chard crunching, aficionado. Hallelujah!

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Recipe Rating


  • Yummy – I love kumquats… this looks so good. Great combination of flavors

    • Jenn

      Thanks Marye!!! <3 The flavor of the dish was insanely good!

  • Oh my gosh, I LOVE freekeh! This looks absolutely incredible. I had never heard of Blue Apron before, but I’m definitely going to check them out now. Sounds perfect for this new mama. 🙂

  • Maria

    You’ve convinced me to give them a shot before our next move or even when the husband has to go out of town. Also, kumquats are one of my favorites.

    • Jenn

      You’ll love it! Thanks Maria!

  • Wow! That really did look fresh and you did it proud!

    • Jenn

      Thanks Pam! 🙂

  • 5 stars
    What a fabulous post — I love the concept of Blue Apron, I’m going to check them out asap — and that learning tower? Priceless! (You need to market those!)

    • Jenn

      Aww thanks Sue! I’m a total BA fangirl and those learning towers are so easy to make at home that they should be a staple for tots! What a lifesaver!

  • Hahaha Arman’s comment above made me laugh out loud, he’s right Australia sure does 🙂 having said that this looks so good and fancy and healthy too!

    • Jenn

      I heart my Aussies

  • I had to double take when I saw “chicken” in my bloglovin next to your blog.

    I’ve seen several similar concepts opening up here in Australia- although epic combinations involving kumquats and freekah? I think not. Australia just freekahs-out.

    • LOL I love this comment Arman 🙂

    • Jenn

      The snozzberries taste like snozzberries. I’m freekeh, out man. 🙂 #comevisit #wehazfunfood

  • This looks amazing! I’ve been tempted to try Blue Apron but wasn’t sure if $9.99 would be worth it. And now I want to cook with freekeh just to make jokes. 🙂
    And I LOVE Mia’s kitchen stool. I need to get my hubs to make something like that for our little guy when he gets older. Did he use a pattern or just wing it?

    • Jenn

      You’ve GOT to get your freekeh on Catherine! Haha! We tweaked the learning tower design on <-- it's an awesome plan and so easy to make! It was much cheaper than buying one!

  • 5 stars
    OMG, I need this asap! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jenn

      Thanks Ellie!

  • YUM! Every Blue Apron meal I have seen looks amazing 🙂

    • Jenn

      I was super impressed – and P and I are pretty darn picky!!

  • This is simply gorgeous! I love your photography and the salad looks fantastic.

    • Jenn

      Thanks so so much Julie! <3

  • 5 stars
    Did your husband find the plans to make the learning tower somewhere? My daughter would love something like that. Basically, everything I make is while I’m holding her because she wants to see EVERYTHING I’m doing. It’s great that she wants to be involved (she just turned one) but as she gets bigger it’s so much harder. My two-year-old stands on a chair. We’re pretty much a mini circus every time we’re in the kitchen!

    • Jenn

      Ohmygosh Sharon you NEED one! That learning tower has saved my life time and time again! Mia screams “MUMMMUMMMSS!” [muffins] and slaps the tower to help me make her veggie muffins and always grabs onto the legs squealing “UUUUUUP!” – She adores it! The plans we used were from and were so much cheaper than buying one. Once I cool it with the recipes for a second I’m going to scan his blueprints and changes because it seems like there are a lot of mamas in the same boat as us as ringleaders of a three ring circus =)

  • I’ve got a foodie friend who swears by Blue Apron and now you, so I’ll have to check them out for sure.

    P.S. Love Mia’s kitchen stool. What an awesome idea.

    • Jenn

      I LOVED EVERY MEAL! You can peek at the week to come before ordering and I highly suggest picking a week that is out of the box from what you would normally cook and just have a ball with it! Many of the dishes filled me up so much that I even had a small side dish for the following day.

  • creative recipe! lots of healthy goodness.

    • Jenn

      Thanks David! I would have never thought to combine all these flavors but Blue Apron really has it together! I already have plans to make this again and mix up the proteins to shake things up a bit! Love it!

  • I am beyond intrigued with this kumquat relish and the Freekeh salad. Pinned to try out my hand on this one!

    • Jenn

      It’s so FREEKEH good! Haha seriously though – amazing stuff!

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