Spice Chicken and Bulgar Packets
Dune has always been on my “I’ll get to it someday” reading list, but after watching the trailer for the upcoming Dune movie, someday became NOW real quick. There have been a few moments of food in the books so far, but this passage for some reason stuck out to me and I took a screenshot
She could still taste their morning meal- the morsel of bird flesh and grain bound within a leaf with spice honey-and it came to her that the use of time was turned around here: night was the day of activity and day was the time of rest
My brain went first towards Moroccan bisteeya, because of the sweet cinnamony “bird flesh”, and the almost pie-like nature of it, since it came in a handheld edible package. I decided to use bulgar as the grain and chicken as the bird of course. I seasoned the chicken with honey, cinnamon, allspice, and clove, and added just a hint of bbq sauce to make it more juicy and sort of bring everything together. Since the main plot of Dune revolves around “spice” which is said to have a cinnamon aroma, I obviously made this cinnamon forward, but wanted to add the allspice and clove to keep it super earthy. Finally, I wrapped it all in a collard green and steamed them for a half hour before serving.
The cooked chicken is shredded and mixed with honey, bbq sauce, allspice, clove, and cinnamon.
I steamed the leaves for about 30 seconds and then cut the stem out.
Wrap it all up like a burrito, cooked bulgar first, then the chicken on top.
I tied them with butcher twine for fun but you don’t really need that part.
I really loved these! It felt true to the food in the book but was still really tasty! The spice mixture added a great depth of flavor and unique dustyness which probably isn’t something you are looking for in a recipe but it worked for a Dune inspired dish.
Spice Chicken and Bulgur Packets
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon clove
- 1/4 teaspoon berbere spice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup bulgur wheat
- pinch cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 5 large collard leaves
- Heat a large pan with some olive oil and add the chicken to sear on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low once it's browned well on both sides and add in all the remaining ingredients. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to incorporate any browned bits into the sauce. Cover and simmer on low for about 30-40 minutes until the chicken is falling apart. Pour into a bowl and mash/shred the chicken with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and season heavily with salt. Boil the bulgur until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Strain in a mesh strainer. Pour the bulgur into a bowl and stir in the cinnamon and honey. Set aside to cool.
- Bring a pot of water with a steamer basket to a simmer. Add in the greens once at a time for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Lay flat on a work surface. Cut the stem out to about half way up. Put some bulgur down on the uncut stem area and top with chicken. Roll the leaf around the bulgur and chicken and fold in the sides as you go to form a burrito shape. Seal it up and tie with a butcher twine if desired.
- Once finished, add the packets to the steamer and allow to steam about 30 minutes until the greens are tender. Serve.