Olive & Lemon Chicken with Bulgur Wheat
It takes its flavor cues from Moroccan tagines, which are flavorful without being too spicy. Lemon, olives, garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger and nutmeg meld to make a delicious one dish meal.
Bulgur is parboiled and dried, unlike cracked wheat which is not parboiled. It's a healthy whole grain widely used around the Mediterranean and by vegetarians in the US. It's readily available in bulk in health food stores and near the rice in some supermarkets.
1 mediumlemon, both juice and zest, which will be used separately
1/2 tspginger, ground
1/2 tspcoriander, ground
1/2 tspcumin, ground
1/2 tspnutmeg, freshly ground
1/4 tspsea salt (omit if using boxed or canned chicken broth)
1/4 tspblack or white pepper, freshly ground
8 ozchicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 Tbspolive oil
1/2 cfinely chopped celery, onion, or a combination.
4 clovegarlic, minced
6 to 8 mediumolives, sliced (use greek or other european-style olives)
1 cbulgar wheat
2 cstrong chicken broth or stock
2 to 3 cfresh spinach (about 1/2 bag), chopped
How to Make Olive & Lemon Chicken with Bulgur Wheat
- Set the lemon zest aside for later use.
In a bowl big enough to hold the chicken, whisk together lemon juice, ginger, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, salt (if using) and pepper.
- Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and toss in the lemon and spice marinade to coat thoroughly. Allow to rest 10 minutes.
- In a large saute pan with cover, heat the olive oil on medium-high until shimmering. Drain away the excess marinade saute the chicken in the olive oil 5 to 6 minutes, turning to cook on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside, leaving any remaining oil in the pan. The chicken will cook more with the bulgur wheat so it need not be thoroughly cooked at this point.
- In another container, heat the chicken broth or stock to boiling. This is most easily done in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave.
- Briefly saute the celery (and/or onion) and garlic in the remaining olive oil. Add the olive and the bulgur and stir to coat. Allow the bulgur to toast for about 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken cubes, chicken stock and lemon zest. Stir to mix. Cover and turn heat to medium low. Allow to simmer 5 minutes.
- Put the spinach on top of the now-swelling bulgur mixture, cover, and continue to simmer another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach, cover, and simmer a final 5 minutes for a total of 15 minutes simmering. Test the bulgur for doneness. It should be al dente yet tender.
- Serve hot.