Thursday, October 15, 2020

Bulgur or Bourghal Wheat Risotto with Chicken and Artichokes

It's easy to treat yourself to a fast, tasty and nutritious meal at the end of a busy day from food in your pantry. This is a quick post, to share with you a deceptively easy and delicious midweek meal. At the end of a busy day, if you have some left over chicken in the frig, a bottle of  preserved artichokes in your pantry, some bulgur wheat, and some white wine for the dish and the cook, voila you have the makings of a tasty and nutritious meal only 45 minutes max away.  

Even retirees have busy weeks, believe it or not,  and this is one of them for us, with a variety of appointments seeming to occur this week alongside our regular weekly commitments. Mr. HRK and I have also been writing the 14th post on my blog about my Great Great Grandfather's Artistic Adventures in Glasgow, Scotland. We have really enjoyed it but it takes a lot of time, and there is still a lot of work to do before it reaches the publishing stage if we take it to that level.

One afternoon, I was prepping the ingredients for this dish, when Mr. HRK came into the kitchen and asked what we were having. I knew he had no expectations and would probably have been happy with a poached egg on toast given the busy day, so the expression on his face when I told him we were having Bulgur Wheat Risotto with Chicken and Artichokes was quite priceless , and he charmingly said "How many men would be having a meal like that tonight? I am so lucky." Bless his heart. Yes the name of this dish does sound quite impressive, but it is so easy, just don't tell anyone. It is also a versatile dish. Haloumi cheese can be substituted for the chicken, another pickled vegetable such as eggplant or fennel could be substituted for the artichoke, and well  I suppose you could use arborio rice, but I like the taste and texture of bulgur and it is certainly a nice change from rice. You could also add some dry white wine to replace half the liquid, to really make it special.

 I try to use bulgur or buckwheat in preference to rice when I can as it contains more than twice the fibre and four times as much folate to keep up our energy levels. We have been bombarded with information recently about the value of ancient grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, and bulgar, but bulgar is my favourite and easier to cook with. When we travelled through Chile and Peru in March 2020, quinoa was used in so many foods, along with corn, but I still prefer bulgur.

This a wonderful  recipe from Dr. Mosley's 8-week blood sugar diet recipe book published in 2015. 


330 calories

Serves 4

1 onion

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin olive oil

1 large garlic clove, diced or squeezed.

60g bulgur wheat

1/2-1 red fresh chilli or 1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1 bay leaf

1 red capsicum, deseeded and sliced.

300ml chicken or vegetable stock

140 g cooked leftover chicken chopped (about 1 medium chicken breast) or 60 g fried sliced haloumi.

2 heaped tablespoons artichokes (from a jar or tin).

A large handful of coriander or parsley, roughly chopped.


Sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil in a saucepan. Meanwhile rinse the bulgur wheat. 

Add the bulgur or bourghal, chilli, bay leaf and capsicum and cover with the stock. Put the lid on and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the bulgur wheat is al dente and ready to eat. It pays to check this after 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes as you may need to add extra stock if it is looking dry. Mine didn't.

Then stir the chicken into the pan, along with the artichokes, for the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.

Season and stir in half the coriander or parsley, reserving the rest for a garnish.

60g fried sliced Haloumi works really well with this dish instead of chicken if you prefer a meat free dish. 

This recipe is one published by Dr. Michael Mosley in the 8-week blood sugar diet, so be assured it is healthy and great for your gut.

Here are some other bulgur recipes you might like to try: 

Bulgur Wheat with Tomato Eggplant and Lemon Yoghurt

A very healthy Cypriot Grain Salad

Lentil and Bulgur Salad

Best wishes,



  1. This looks healthful, delicious and so comforting too.

    1. Thanks Angie, it is a healthy midweek meal and I love eating it.

  2. this sounds tasty pauline. we tend not to eat burgul/bulgur much, but this sounds quick and easy. we love capsicum, tho it was a veg that i had to train myself to like. i didn't like it when i first had it when i was about 19, so i just kept eating it till i did! you know how there are things you know you will end up loving? same with basil and coriander. i hated them at the start too. had to make myself eat them till i liked 'em!

    1. Thanks Sherry, I starting eating bulgur as a healthy grain option and now I love it, it marries so well with Middle Eastern foods which I adore and cooks so quickly. Can't get fresh artichokes here, so the bottled ones make a nice change. Hope your weekend is going well.

  3. I've liteally a ton of whole gulgur in my cupboard... I need to try your recipe ASAP :)

    1. It's great to hear from you and nice to hear you are a bulgur fan.Perhaps it will take longer to cook whole bulgur, anyway hope you can try this recipe. Thanks FoodTrotter.

  4. Aww what a lovely thing of Mr HRK to say! I'll send Mr NQN over for some training haha!

    1. Thanks Lorraine, My hubby has his moments but now he has lost his sense of taste due to a sinus problem so he doesn't know what he is tasting.I'm spicing everything up. Mr. NQN must be one of the best fed partners in the country, and I'm sure he knows it ha, ha.

  5. We often use rice substitutes - and will be doing more of that in the months to come, so thank you for this recipe :)

    1. Thanks Tandy. Yes the rice substitutes are a healthy alternative and make a nice tasty change.Hope you are well.

  6. This looks terrific -- and I like that you used bulgur. I don't often use this, and need to do more often. Its flavor is so nice. Anyway, lovely recipe -- thanks.

  7. Thanks so much KR.Yes it is such a tasty and interesting grain to use. Great for the gut as well.

  8. A perfect quick and I'm certain very tasty dinner. We also enjoy bulgur, but usually just make it in the Instant Pot with stock. I've not tried a making a one-pot meal with it. We also enjoy eating freekeh which is a another great healthy alternative to rice. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Thanks Ron. I must try Freekah, all the grains make for healthy rice substitutes. Personally I prefer barley in soups, but it's nice to have a change. Hope you are all well.

  9. It is healthful recipe. This is looking tasty and delicious. thanks for sharing.
    Calories in banana bread


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