Turkish Chicken & Date Casserole

Cooking time
Serves2 people
Turkish Chicken & Date Casserole

An aromatic chicken casserole inspired by the flavours of Istanbul. There's cumin, coriander, cinnamon and star anise, with organic chicken and bulgar wheat on the side


  • 2 chicken thighs & drumsticks
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 vine tomatoes
  • 50g dates
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • A handful of thyme
  • 150g bulgar wheat
  • A handful of flat leaf parsley, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 50 mins

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1. 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 drumsticks. Fry for 10 mins, turning once, till they're golden brown.
2. While the chicken cooks, peel and finely chop the onion. Halve the pepper. Scoop out the seeds and white pith. Roughly chop it. Dice the tomatoes.
3. When the chicken is 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.
4. 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.
5. When the onion and pepper have browned and softened, stir in the tomatoes, dates and chilli. Add 1 tsp each cumin and coriander seeds, 1 cinnamon stick and 1 star anise. Cook and stir for 1 min.
6. 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. Simmer for 30 mins till the chicken is tender and cooked through.
7. 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.
8. Taste the casserole and add more salt or pepper if you think it needs it. Spoon the bulgar wheat into bowls. Top with the chicken, veg and stock, discarding the thyme sprigs. Garnish with parsley leaves. Serve straight away.
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