Warm a casserole dish or deep, wide frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add ½ tbsp olive oil, the chicken thighs (skin-side down) and the drumsticks. Fry for 10 mins, turning once, till they’re golden brown.
While the chicken fries, peel and finely chop the onion. Halve the pepper. Scoop out the seeds and white pith. Roughly chop it. Dice the tomatoes.
When the chicken has browned, lift it out of the pan and pop it on a plate. Add another ½ tbsp oil, the onion and the pepper. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, till the veg look glossy.
Quarter the dates. Halve the chilli. Flick out the seeds and white pith and finely chop it. Crumble the stock cube into a heatproof jug. Add 400ml boiling water and stir to dissolve.
When the onion and pepper have browned and softened, stir in the tomatoes, dates and chilli. Add 1 tsp each cumin seeds and ground coriander, 1 cinnamon stick and 1 star anise. Cook and stir for 1 min.
Add the chicken back to the pan. Tuck the thyme in around the chicken. Pour in the stock. Cover, bring to the boil then turn the heat down. Gently simmer for 30 mins till the chicken is tender and cooked through.
When the chicken is 20 mins away from being ready, tip the bulgar wheat into a heatproof bowl. Cover with 300ml boiling water. Cover with a plate. Set aside to soak – the bulgar wheat will suck up the water and become tender.
Taste the casserole and add more salt or pepper if you think it needs it. Drain any excess water off the bulgar wheat. Spoon the bulgar wheat into bowls. Top with the chicken, veg and stock, discarding the thyme sprigs. Garnish with parsley leaves, roughly chopped. Serve straight away.