This is a great, nutritious meal that makes enough to feed a family or for a single person like me to enjoy throughout the week. The Chick Chick Bulgur, or bulgur with chicken, chickpeas and red peppers, was inspired by a recipe for North African chickpea and bulgur soup.
Instead of a soup, I decided to prepare the ingredients as a casserole. The most significant addition was adding chicken (the original recipe was vegetarian) for more protein. I like using boneless, skinless chicken thighs because they have better flavor and don’t dry out as easily as chicken breasts, which is important in an oven-baked casserole. Plus, chicken thighs are usually cheaper than chicken breasts; combine that with better flavor and it’s a win-win.
If you’re not familiar with bulgur, now is the time to try it. Bulgur is a whole grain loaded with fiber and protein, and is a great substitute for rice.
If you’re trying to eat healthy or simply want a filling dish, this is it. Try it, you’ll like it!
Here’s the recipe:
Chick Chick Bulgur – serves 6
2 cups chicken broth or water
1 1/2 cups dry bulgur
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed
Salt and pepper
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pour the chicken broth in a pot set over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir in the bulgur and decraese the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Season the cubed chicken with salt and pepper and add the chicken to the pan. Cook in batches if necessary not overcrowd the pan. Cook the chicken until seared on all sides but not cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in the saute pan and decrease the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and red pepper and saute until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the smoked paprika, mint, chickpeas and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange the cooked bulgur evenly in the prepared baking dish and top with the chicken and red pepper mixture. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.