I made this dish back in early summer when the weather was hot, but not too hot, that turning on the stove seemed like No Big Deal. Then, as luck would have it, this west coast summer turned HOTTT and making salads as dinner became de rigueur. Now that it’s already late August (whoever called it the King of Months is a big fat liar), the weather has become a bit cooler, so turning on the oven is a happening thing once again. Thank goodness because this dish is a winner.
I used chicken thighs but legs would be good here too. I’d skip the breast meat and save that for another kind of dish – breast meat has no place here. Bone-in and dark meat are a must, I think. The chicken thighs, along with the chickpeas get bathed in a sauce full of flavour. And that flavour is harissa, a spice that I’ve never really used before, but I have more plans for it because I liked it so much here.
Harissa is an African spice blend with an earthy flavour and a bit of a kick. Mine came in a tiny glass jar from a fancy food shop, but you can find it in tubes and cans too! It’s heady with cumin (at least my version was) for that earthiness and an assortment of hot peppers. My version wasn’t super spicy but I’d advise in giving it a taste before you add it all in. To add some much needed brightness to this dish, some lemon gets squeezed overtop before serving.
Please give this dish a try! Have you used harissa before? If so, please comment and include a favourite recipe as I’d love to expand my harissa horizons.
pan-roasted chicken with harissa chickpeas
Give your harissa paste a taste before you start cooking, as the heat can vary depending on the blend.
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)
1 T olive oil
4 bone-in chicken thighs
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
2 T tomato paste (I used ketchup here!!)
2 15oz cans of chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/4 c harissa paste
1/4 c chicken stock
Preheat oven to 425°.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat and brown both sides of the chicken, 5 minutes per side.
Transfer chicken to a plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat. Add in the garlic and onion and cook until fragrant and soft, about 5 minutes. Add in tomato paste, chickpeas, harissa and broth, stirring well and bring to a simmer.
Add in the chicken, skin side up and pop pan into the oven. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, squeeze lemon over top and serve.