Recipe Corner: Grilled Chicken and Bulgur Salad


Here’s an updated version of Christine Vartanian Datian’s award-winning recipe that was Sunset Magazine Editor’s Selection in June 2014. The salad, similar to a Middle Eastern fattoush salad, is especially crisp if you use crushed thin pita chips rather than the thick ones. Fattoush is basically a “bread salad,” said to have originated in Northern Lebanon. Lebanese farmers would fry leftover pita scraps in a bit of olive oil for extra flavor. To build their fattoush, they’d simply throw the leftover pita in with whatever in-season vegetables and herbs they had on hand. If you leave out the chicken, this salad works well as a side dish for grilled lamb or kebabs. A simple dressing and a generous dash of sumac spice give this salad its distinctly complex flavor. Grilled vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, mushrooms, and bell peppers may be added to this salad.


1/2 cup medium bulgur

1 boned, skinned chicken breast half (about 1 lb.), pounded until 1/2 in. thick

1 large head of Romaine lettuce, chopped

2-3 Persian cucumbers, quartered or 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

1 large vine-ripe tomato, diced

2 cups chopped fresh parsley leaves, stems removed

1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup Kalamata or black olives, sliced

5 radishes, stems removed, thinly sliced

5 scallions, sliced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, to taste

Salt and black pepper

Juice of one lemon

1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (substitute balsamic glaze)

1 teaspoon powdered sumac, plus more for sprinkling on individual salads if desired)

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)

Crumbled feta cheese

Crushed thin pita chips

Fresh lemon wedges and mint sprigs


Serves 4.



Combine bulgur and 1 cup of boiling water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 30 minutes or until tender and all liquid has been absorbed. Set aside.

Heat grill to high. Brush chicken with 1 tablespoon of oil and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Grill chicken, turning once, until cooked through, about 5-8 minutes; set aside.

Remove outer leaves from the Romaine lettuce, wash and dry, and then chop Romaine by cutting it into fourths lengthwise and slicing crosswise for fairly smallish pieces. Add the lettuce, cucumber, tomato, parsley, mint, red onion, olives, radishes, scallions, the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, sumac, and allspice (if using) to the bowl of bulgur, and toss to combine.

Slice grilled chicken and divide tossed salad among 4 plates. Top each salad with sliced chicken and garnish with feta cheese, pita chips, lemon wedges, and mint sprigs. Sprinkle salads with more sumac, if desired. For the original recipe, see:





Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: