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Chicken Tabbouleh

Chicken Tabbouleh
Chicken today and tomorrow

Exchanging recipes is an ancient practice. Most people have scrapbooks full of clippings and jottings to do with food. Recently I figured I’d get rid of the yellowed, spotted pages and type everything up nice and neatly.

After only a few recipes were transcribed, I quit. I found I was throwing away the memories conjured up by a friend’s, aunty’s or boyfriend’s handwriting scrawled on whatever was handy at the time. Making the words clean and clinical dulled the memory of a shared meal, the laughter, and the smell of the kitchen.

Yet most recipes are shared now by being typed on the computer and flicked through on email. So I have no shared memory of this meal – but I do like Jane’s friend’s Warm Chicken Tabbouleh. Leftovers are great for lunch the next day, served up cold and topped with fresh raw tomatoes.


  • 1 cup Bulgur or Burghul wheat
  • 500g chicken tenderloins or breasts thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed (or 2tsp freshly crushed garlic in a jar)
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, halved (or 6- 12 sun dried tomatoes)
  • 3 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parley
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint


Put bulgur in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Stand for 15min then drain using a sieve or squeeze out surplus water with hands.

Combine uncooked chicken, garlic, 2Tbsp lemon juice and 1Tbsp olive oil in a medium bowl and leave to stand for 5min.

Heat 1Tbsp olive oil in a large fry pan or wok, stir fry chicken mixture, browning chicken and cooking it through. Remove from pan, cover to keep warm.

Put bulgur wheat with tomato and onion in the same fry pan or wok. Stir fry until onion is soft. Remove pan from heat.

Add the chicken mixture, parsley, mint, remaining lemon juice and oil. Toss gently to combine. Serve.

Camping tips and variations

Instead of boiling water and a 15min soak, save fuel by soaking the bulgur wheat for 1hr in cold water.

Use pre-cooked chicken torn into chunks or cut into strips.

Instead of fresh tomatoes use 6 – 12 sun dried tomatoes cut into slivers.  

Use the onion raw.

Avoid bruising the herbs and keep them fresh by putting them in a zip lock bag with a dash of water and a bit of air for cushioning, or into an airtight container with moisture.

–  Ruth Henderson