The Village Kitchen | Tahini grilled chicken salad with jewelled freekeh

Spice up your menu with this take on a grilled chicken salad combined with tahini and jewelled freekeh

Boasting 27 years’ experience, Chef Clifton Grech has been a prominent figure on the ever so competitive Maltese culinary scene.

Following on his late father’s footsteps Chef Clifton knew he was destined for a career in cooking and after graduating in 1995 he worked his way up through the ranks of various restaurants before moving to the then newly-opened Westin Dragonara Resort where he spent four years on the job.

In 2003 he moved to the Fortina Spa Resort and soon took over as Executive Chef leading his brigade in producing high quality food in all of their six restaurants for 13 years.    

Chef Clifton is also experienced in high-end banqueting functions, catering for the Heads of the Commonwealth of Nations at CHOGM and for the Heads of State at the recent EU Summit.  Most recently Chef Clifton was privileged to have cooked for Prince Charles when he was visiting Malta during the Our Oceans conference last year.

Patron Chef Clifton now takes the helm at the recently opened, ‘The Village Kitchen’, in Naxxar which offers its customers a mix of unique and trendy Mediterranean cuisine using the best local and fresh ingredients.


  • Boneless chicken legs   4 pcs
  • Butternut squash    1 pcs

Tahini marinade        

  • Tahini paste  50 g
  • Garlic 10 g
  • Coriander stems  10 g
  • Tamarind paste  20 g
  • Light soy  30 ml
  • Sesame oil  80 ml
  • Lemon juice  1 pcs
  • Seasoning                

Freekeh salad        

  • Freekeh 200 g
  • Cucumber diced  20 g
  • Cherry tomato quartered  2 g
  • Pomegenettes seeds  20 g
  • Teared mint leaves   1 pc
  • Minced garlic oil        
  • Minced fresh root tumeric oil        
  • Chopped red chilli 1 pcs
  • Black olives stoned   40 g
  • Crushed chick pea  100 g


1.    For Marinade, in a bowl put Tahini paste, garlic coriander stems & tamarind paste,

    whisk in light soy sauce, then gradually add sesame oil whisking continuously to finish with lemon juice, place chicken leg on tray & marinate with tahini for one hour approximately.

2.    Peel & deseed butternut squash, use upper part to make carpaccio by slicing 1mm slices with mandolin cutter or slicer marinate with lemon juice & some dressing set aside, cut the bottom part into neat cubes approximately 2cm, season with salt peper & olive oil using a non-stick pan grill on all sides until golden.

3.    To make freekeh salad, start by boiling freekeh for about 10mins until soft, strain & let it cool down & in the meantime prepare all cutting of the other ingredients, when done mix all together & flavour salad with some tahini dressing.

4.    To cook chicken heat up grill pan or a non stick & place boneless leg in to cook on

    moderate flame for three minutes on each side until meat is firm but not dry.

5.    For presenting the dish start by placing butternut squash slices on the bottom of the plate, in a round cutter place the jewelled freekeh then cut the leg in two pieces & place on top garnish with grilled butternut cubes & pea shoot or baby spinach.