The inspiration for this wheat bulgur recipe comes from this beautiful fall season, a season rich with pomegranates and figs. I thought the combination of dried Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Figs, with pomegranate seeds and bulgur, all three ingredients together in this simple salad makes this dish unique. The texture of the crunchy pomegranate seeds and roasted almonds with the soft sweet dried mission figs mix in a bulgur wheat salad that’s topped off with a fresh lemony dressing for a great weekday dinner.
Bulgur is a grain that is used in many Palestinian dishes, at times it is used as an alternative to rice. It’s commonly known and used as a main ingredient with the most popular salad dish tabbouleh. However, it’s important to know that bulgur comes in different grades, zero being the finest to 3 or 4 the thickest. So, what’s used in the bulgur wheat recipe, tabbouleh is very fine which is more like a zero or one, versus if it’s used in other dishes as a substitute for rice it is more as a grade 3 or 4.
In this recipe, I’m using the thicker portion of bulgur, grade 4.
So what is bulgur made of? Bulgur is an edible cereal grain made from dried, cracked wheat. It is partially cooked, so therefore it can be prepared relatively quickly. Bulgur has high nutrient values and is considered to be a good source of fiber.
This is an easy simple dish that can last up to two days in the fridge.
This is how to make grilled chicken bulgur wheat salad.
I first start with marinating the chicken, it can be marinated for an hour or longer, but if you don’t have the time you can pour in all the spices and grill it right away. Using two boneless chicken breasts, make sure to flatten them well so the chicken is cooked well, then pour all the ingredients for marinating the chicken: olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, garlic powder, allspice, and cinnamon to integrate well. I have a skillet grill that imprints grill marks on the chicken, but any other skillet should work. Lay the chicken on the skillet to cook for 10-15 minutes, then flip to the other side and grill it as well. Make sure the chicken is fully cooked (internal temperature will be 165°F).
As for the bulgur, wash the bulgur and rinse. Sauté with some oil in a saucepan, then pour in water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
Now assemble everything together, cooling off the bulgur for a bit. Then, in a bowl add bulgur, pomegranate seeds, roasted almonds, and chopped dried figs. Pour on the dressing of fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Toss everything well.
Chicken Bulgur Wheat Salad with Figs & Pomegranate
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pour all marinade ingredients over chicken. Refrigerate until ready to grill, a minimum of 30 minutes to overnight.
- Warm up the skillet grill and lay marinated chicken to grill on each side for about 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
- Meanwhile, wash and rinse bulgur. Sauté for 1 minute with oil over heat, then pour in water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and simmer for 15 minutes on low heat.
- Once bulgur is done, pour in a bowl and cool off for a few minutes.
- On top of bulgur add in pomegranate seeds, roasted almonds, and chopped dried figs. Then, pour on dressing ingredients. Toss everything well and adjust dressing to taste.
- Serve with grilled chicken fanning the top or next to the bulgur.