Thursday, 5 November 2009

Salad of Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken, Bulgar Wheat, and Pomegranates

I love to cook with recipes that are from, or have been influenced by, other cultures. This is a delicious and healthy salad from Middle Eastern influence, that serves four generously and makes for great lunch box fare if you have leftovers.
The pomegranate seeds sparkle like jewels and are full of anti-oxidants. It is warm and spicy as well as beautiful. Not just another chicken salad!
Salad of Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken, Bulgar Wheat, and Pomegranates
adapted from Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons
Enchanting dishes from the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa
Diana Henry

4 chicken breast fillets, skinned
salt and pepper
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 head winter greens, chopped - I used curly endive
7 oz bulgar wheat (I topped mine up with quinoa)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 oz shelled walnuts or pecans
2 pomegranates
3/4 oz flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3/4 oz cilantro, chopped
Greek yogurt, to serve

For the marinade:
4 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp pomegranate syrup
1 1/2 tbsp runny honey
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

For the dressing:
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp runny honey
1 tsp harissa
7 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade, seasoning with salt and pepper, and toss in a freezer bag with the chicken. Marinate overnight or at least several hours.

2. For salad - saute onion in the olive oil until soft. Add garlic and chopped winter greens, stir until wilted down. Add the grains, stirring until coated, and then add stock, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Taste for seasoning, fluff with a fork, cover and set aside.

3. Toast the walnuts or pecans.
Halve the pomegranates and remove the seeds into a bowl of water. Remove any clinging bits of membranes. Drain.

4. Take the chicken out of the marinade and grill it. Start on a very high heat, so that the outside gets nicely browned, basting with the marinade (minus onions) as it cooks. Turn half way through, then lower the heat to finish cooking. Cut each breast into broad slices.

5. Make the dressing by whisking all the dressing ingredients together and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Combine bulgar, chicken, most of the pomegranate seeds (reserve a handful for top), and herbs. Pour the dressing on top.
Garnish with reserved pomegranate seeds and nuts.
Serve warm or room temperature with Greek yogurt on the side.