Chicken with Spiced Bulgur Wheat and Apricot Stuffing

, from Issue #44. August, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Chicken with Spiced Bulgur Wheat and Apricot Stuffing

Chicken loves bold flavours and this aromatic stuffing with apricots, currants and ras el hanout works a treat. A blend of Moroccan spices and widely used across North Africa, there is no definitive combination for ras el hanout, with each seller claiming their own secret blend to be the best. It’s available in good supermarkets and food stores, or use a Moroccan spice mix instead.

Serves: 4–6


4 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
olive oil
2 teaspoons ras el hanout

1½ cups water
½ cup fine bulgur wheat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1½ teaspoons ras el hanout
¼ cup finely chopped apricots
¼ cup currants
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Stuffing: Bring the water to the boil with a good pinch of salt then add the bulgur wheat. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally then tip into a bowl.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the onion with a pinch of salt until soft. Add the garlic, ras el hanout, apricots and currants and cook for 1 minute. Add to the bulgur wheat along with the parsley
and combine. Season and cool before stuffing the chicken.

Chicken: Cut each chicken breast open so it lies flat like a book, but don’t cut all the way through, leaving it attached on one side. Season with ras el hanout, salt and pepper. Divide the stuffing between the breasts, patting it on firmly, and fold the top back over. Don’t worry if some of it falls out, just add it to the pan later.

Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer and place the chicken skin side up in the dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil then sprinkle with ras el hanout, salt and pepper. Pour a ¼ cup of water around the chicken and spoon any leftover stuffing around the chicken.

Roast for 30 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden and the chicken is cooked through. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts.