Gillian’s Chicken, with Sumac, Cumin and Roasted Vegetable Bulgar

Gillian's Chicken (6)

My former Right Hand Woman at work has become an enthusiastic cook in my absence, and regularly sends me news of her latest creations. Thanks to her, we have her cousin Lucy’s ever-popular Victoria Sponge  already on this site.

So here’s Gillian’s latest triumph – an easy weekday dinner –  her Chicken with Sumac, Cumin and Roasted vegetables with Bulgar .. ready in about 45 minutes, including the preparation!


  • A large 1-2 inch deep roasting tray
  • A heat-proof bowl
  • Measuring jug
  • A sieve

INGREDIENTS: for 4 people.                                                    Gillian's Chicken (3)

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 8 thin rashers streaky bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2-3 red onions, cut into chunks
  • 2 courgettes in thick slices
  • 1 pepper, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 vegetable(or chicken) stock cube
  • 200g Bulgar wheat
  • 25g hazelnuts – chopped.
  • 2 tblsp chopped fresh coriander


  • Heat the oven to 180 Fan
  • Line the roasting tin with a sheet of baking parchment
  • Mix the onion, courgette, pepper and garlic together in the bowl with a tablespoon of oil, season well,  then spread in an even layer in the roasting tray
  • Season the chicken, then rub in the Sumac and Cumin until fully coated.
  • Wrap each breast in 2 slices of bacon, secure with cocktail stick (if required)  and place in the roasting tin on top of the vegetables
  • Drizzle the whole lot with oil and roast for 25 mins – See NOTES 2
Gillian's Chicken (5)

You could always prepare it to this stage ahead of time, then just pop it in the oven when you get home!

  • Wash and dry the bowl.
  • Weigh the Bulgar into the sieve – wash it well under running water, then drain and return it to the bowl.
  • Make up stock to 200mls with boiling water
  • Pour the stock over the Bulgar, cover, and leave to stand for 10 minutes, then give it 5 minutes on full power in the Microwave. Fluff it up with a fork, and leave to rest.
  • After 25 minutes, remove the Chicken from the oven and leave to rest.
  • Put the heat up to 200 Fan and give the vegetables another 5-10 minutes.
  • Fluff up the Bulgar again,  add the vegetables and the juices from the roasting tray and mix in well.
  • Slice chicken, pour any juices into the Bulgar

Gillian's Chicken (1)

  • Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and the hazelnuts, if using.
  • Serve with a crisp green salad


  1. Gillian’s original recipe called for Couscous, but I changed it to Bulgar because I prefer it. If you want to use Couscous, just treat it exactly like the Bulgar, but don’t give it the 5 minutes in the microwave – it doesn’t need it.
  2. Remove the chicken after 25 minutes, and allow it to rest – if you leave it any longer it will be dry and tough.
  3. Unusually for me, I had most of the ingredients for this dish in the house today – the only thing that was missing was the courgettes, so I used some lovely organic Chestnut Mushrooms, quartered, instead. They worked really well.

I think is a great little recipe, we both really enjoyed it this evening – Thanks Gillian! x


I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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