Moroccan Spiced Chicken, Bulgur Wheat Pilaf and Pecorino Ice Cream

Moroccan Spiced Chicken, Bulgur Wheat Pilaf and Pecorino Ice Cream

Moroccan Spiced Chicken, Bulgur Wheat Pilaf and Pecorino Ice Cream

The idea of this Moroccan Spiced Chicken and Bulgur Wheat Pilaf emerged from the quite fantastic weather we are having in the UK. The doors and windows are all wide open trying to cool us down a bit. Now apart from a BBQ and salad, I was trying to think of some delicious warm weather dishes. I thought about what people in hot countries eat generally and came up with this.

The marinade for the chicken is so delicious , it will work wonderfully well with tuna and even aubergines for a vegetarian version. As you make the spice mix, the smell will blow you away.

The harissa in the dish lends itself to an invention of a new ice cream. I have seen/tasted a few savoury ice creams and they are well worth their place. You just have to get your head around them not being “sweet”. This one uses pecorino as it is much creamier than parmesan to counter act the spice of the harissa. If you don’t want to make it, just add some pecorino shavings to the dish.

The Bulgur Wheat Pilaf is one of my favourite concoctions. Bulgar wheat is such a superb grain. It will retain bite unlike couscous, but carry as much flavour as you want it to. It is also much simpler to cook than rice.[purerecipe]


    Moroccan Spice Mix

  • 2 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Harissa
  • 2 Tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Coriander Leaf
  • 75-100ml Oil
  • 600g, skinless breasts. Chicken
  • Bulgur Wheat Pilaf

  • 200g Bulgur Wheat
  • 600ml Stock(Chicken or Veg)
  • 75ml Dry white wine
  • 1 Chopped Red Onion
  • 1 Large bulb chopped Fennel
  • 2 Tsp Cumin
  • 2 Tsp Coriander
  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp Turmeric
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Preserved Lemon
  • 2 Tbsp chopped(total) Mint/Parsley/Coriander
  • 50g Toasted Pine Nuts
  • Pecorino Ice Cream

  • 100ml Double Cream
  • 50g grated. Pecorino


  1. Mix all the marinade ingredients together and rub into the chicken. Leave for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. For the ice cream, whip the cream until soft peaks. Add the cheese, season with black pepper only. Freeze. When starting the pilaf take out of the freezer so that it is soft enough to serve.
  3. For the pilaf, cook the onion and fennel for 5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the spices and cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn up the heat, add the wine and let it all evaporate. Add the bulgur wheat and lemon. Pour over the stock, bring to the boil and cover. Place in the oven at 180°c for 20mins. Check after this time. If it is too wet, place back in the oven  and check every 5 minutes.
  4. Wipe off the chunky pieces of the marinade and grill, fry or BBQ your chicken. Slice in half length ways to serve.
  5. Finish off the pilaf by stirring all the herbs and pine nuts through.
  6. Using a teaspoon dipped in hot water, make quenelles of the ice cream to place on top.


  1. It sounds as if we’re having the same type of weather & it’s so hard to find ideas for tasty dishes to make in a heat wave. The spice mix sounds wonderful & the rice dish a very enticing variation. You always are so creative.

    • Dave Crichton

      Thanks Diane, hopefully the weather will still stay nice long enough to create a few more dishes.

  2. The spice mix sounds so good. It’s cold down here and I can’t wait to make this.

    • Dave Crichton

      It will work just as well in the winter, just shave some pecorino over the top rather than having the ice cream though.

  3. Your recipes are always so sophisticated David, what a lovely dish. The Pecorino cream sounds absolutely delightful. Not sure if you were reading my blog back then, but a couple of years we went to Morocco and had a fabulous time, took a couple of cooking classes that were informative and fun, plus we got to eat what we cooked so it was delicious too!

  4. The pecorino ice cream definitely takes this dish to the next level. Very delicious!

  5. This looks really good and I like how you segued into a savoury ice cream from this!

  6. I love harissa and add it almost everything! I especially like it paired with chicken like here. I too like bulgur wheat and agree as to how it absorbs flavour. And the pecorino ice cream, well that ties it all up beautifully!


  7. Are you sure you are not some famous chef moonlighting as a food blogger. You come up with the most incredible meals.

  8. The ingredients are new to me, but look so compelling that I feel I have to bookmark this recipe and see if I can get them here somewhere. Love the presentation.

    • Dave Crichton

      Which ingredients are new Minnie? Bulgur wheat is my favourite new grain. You can flavour it like rice but it has a nutty grain texture. Pecorino is just very salty Parmesan.

  9. David, this dish seems perfect in every way for a balmy summer evening. Love the sound of all the flavour you’ve packed into that chicken (harissa is one of my all-time favourite ingredients), and I can’t wait to give that ice cream a try – that’s genius!

  10. This looks so good! I’ve bookmarked it and will have to try it soon! 🙂

  11. Is the fennel absolutely needed for the pilaf? I have never used it for cooking and don’t want to put it in the pilaf unless it is an essential ingredient. I look forward do making these dishes. Thanks.

    • Dave Crichton

      Hi Yvonne, thanks for asking the question. Nothing is ever essential unless stated. Fennel is a great ingredient, but feel free to leave it out. Onions do just as good a job of flavouring the pilaf.

  12. Do I really have to include fennel in the pilaf? I never use it but if I have to put it in the pilaf I will. Thanks.

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