A chicken thigh dish topped with pomegranates

Syrian chicken with bulgur wheat (burghul bl jaj)

  • serves 2
  • Easy

Transform chicken thighs with fragrant cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and cumin, then serve on top of raisin-studded bulgur wheat for a colourful dinner. This recipe comes from Imad’s Syrian kitchen in London.

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Try this recipe for burghul bl ja, then check out more of Imad’s Syrian recipes such as Syrian baba ghanoj and Syrian falafel, plus these Syrian-inspired barazek shortbreads. Also browse our collection of Middle Eastern meze recipes for the perfect party platter.

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Ingredients

  • whole chicken thighs 4
  • white wine vinegar 1 tbsp
  • rock salt 1 tbsp
  • olive oil 2 tbsp
  • cumin seeds 1 tbsp
  • cardamom pods 3
  • cinnamon stick 1
  • black peppercorns crushed to make ½ tsp
  • cloves 3
  • onion 1, roughly chopped
  • chopped tomatoes 200g
  • mixed spice 1 tsp
  • raisins 2 tbsp
  • bulgur wheat 200g
  • flat-leaf parsley a small handful, to serve
  • pomegranate seeds to serve (optional)
  • sumac a pinch, to serve (optional)
  • butternut squash boiled, to serve (optional)

Method

  • Step 1

    Toss the chicken thighs with the vinegar and rock salt in a bowl, then remove and pat dry with kitchen paper

  • Step 2

    Heat the olive oil in a pan and fry the cumin seeds. Once sizzling, add the cardamom, cinnamon, peppercorns and cloves. Stir for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden.

  • Step 3

    Add the tomatoes, mixed spice and 1 tsp of salt. Cover and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring regularly.

  • Step 4

    Add the chicken and cook for 35 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through, stirring every once in a while.

  • Step 5

    Scoop the chicken thighs onto a non-stick tray. Add the raisins and bulgur wheat to the pan. The mixture should just cover the bulgur – if it doesn’t, add enough just-boiled water to do so. Bubble on a low heat for 15-20 minutes until the bulgur is tender.

  • Step 6

    Meanwhile, grill the chicken under a medium heat for 10 minutes until the skin is golden.

  • Step 7

    To serve, spoon the bulgur wheat onto a serving plate, top with the chicken, parsley, pomegranate seeds and sumac, if you like.

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A huge pan full of roast chicken thighs and rice with side dishes all around it

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 713
  • Fat 21.7g
  • Saturates 4.1g
  • Carbs 82.7g
  • Sugars 18.5g
  • Fibre 16g
  • Protein 38.8g
  • Salt 3.9g
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