Monday, March 17, 2014

Pan Roasted Chicken with Harissa Spiced Chickpeas

roasted chicken and chickpeas

I'm always on the lookout for recipes that are fast, require little clean up, and are inexpensive to make. Just because I CAN create some fantastic thing that takes hours doesn't mean I want to-usually I'm just not up for the amount of dishes it requires unless it's a weekend and I'm in the mood.

Chicken is a staple in our house more than any other meat, and a new way to eat it always piques my interest. I often get really bored of the standard meat and starch thing that we usually have happening. To have it with beans instead was a real treat-and these buttery, spiced beans were amazing. I also love that this recipe is easily halved so if there are only two of you, it's one that can be adjusted without a hitch.

Don't be worried about harissa if you can't find it. I have been looking for some for years and it was nearly impossible to source out. Harissa is a spice paste used in African cooking, and in the Vancouver area you can find it, usually in a dry format such as this one.

I've often used this straight from the jar because I'm just too lazy to then follow the directions on the back, which tell me to mix crushed garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice with the spice to make a paste. Instead I usually just grab a bit with my finger and toss it in, because I'm classy like that.

roasted chicken and chickpeas

It can be spicy so you may want to be careful how much you use until you have an idea what you're dealing with. I like heat, but I always spice dishes on the milder side because sometimes they actually does get hotter as they sit. I love harissa-it's smoky but has some heat, and adds a great element to this dish. If you can't find it though, don't worry. Try using chili powder to taste instead.

Servings: 4-6


8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
2 cans (15 oz) chick peas
1 large onion
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
harissa to taste
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
lemon wedges, to serve


Pre-heat oven to 425 F

Dry off the chicken thighs with paper towel and sprinkle well with salt and cracked pepper.

Heat about 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large, deep oven proof fry pan over medium high heat until almost smoking.   Add the chicken thighs to the pan skin side down and brown on all sides; about 5 minutes. Remove the thighs to a plate and set aside.

Turn the pan down to medium heat and add the onions, stirring. You don’t want them to burn so watch carefully and continue to move them around. Turn the heat down if you feel the pan is too hot. When the onions have softened, add the garlic and continue to cook until fragrant. Stir in the tomato paste and continue to cook while it gets a bit darker and picks up the bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the harissa and chicken broth. Add the chick peas and toss well before tucking the chicken back in the pan with the beans, skin side up.

Place the pan back into the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the thighs are cooked through.  When the chicken is cooked, pull the pan from the oven, sprinkle the fresh chopped herbs over top.

Serve the chicken with a scoop of beans on the side and slices of fresh lemon to squeeze over.

This made really great leftovers and would probably be amazing with a spinach and cashew side salad, along with some flatbread to sop up the bits of juice left behind from the beans.

Adapted from Bon Appetit

 **Note: an oven proof pan is one where all the parts are metal and it can be set in the oven. If yours has plastic parts, keep them safe by covering the plastic bits (handle, etc) with foil.

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