I first saw this gorgeous chicken recipe recipe in Bon Appetit magazine on an otherwise uneventful doctor’s visit. I considered walking out with the magazine or tearing out the page or even asking one of the attending staff if they would make me a photocopy, but settled on copying down the basics of what I needed to remember.
Then I promptly forgot where I had written it down.
But the recipe stayed on my mind — it was a haunting blend of everyday easy, basic ingredients I knew I had around or could get in any supermarket, and a sultry North African vibe. Plus chickpeas. I love chickpeas.
So I hunted the recipe down in a Google search and took the chicken out to thaw.
Please note that harissa, a red chile paste from North Africa, may not be available around you. You may be able to order it online, or substitute any smoky hot pepper paste you like. I’m considering a chipotle in adobo version at some point, dressed with cilantro instead of parsley.
I hope you try this one. It is worthy of company if you are entertaining, but why wait for that when you are so deserving yourself?
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas
1 Tbs olive oil
3 lbs. chicken skin-on, bone-in (the original recipe calls for chicken thighs and I think that’s what I’ll do next time. This time I had bone-in breasts and drumsticks and they were quite a hit)
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
½ Cup onion, chopped fine
1 Tbs garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 15 oz. cans chickpeas, drained ( I only had one can, but it really needs two! Or two Cups soaked beans)
Up to ¼ Cup harissa paste (I started with 1 Tbs and adjusted from there)
½ Cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼-1/2 Cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. In two batches, cook until golden-brown on all sides (about 15 minutes per batch if using breasts and drumsticks). Transfer to a plate.
Pour off drippings, leaving about 1 Tbs in the pan (I didn’t have any excess fat to pour off, actually). Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring until it begins to color, about 2 minutes. Add chickpeas, harissa paste and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
Settle the reserved chicken pieces on the chickpeas, skin side up and transfer the skillet to the hot oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes. Top with parsley and garnish with lemon wedges.