I brought the January 2014 issue of Bon Appetit on the plane to NY with me for some reading material. With any issue of Bon Appetit, I like to flag the recipes that I want to try with colored tags, so that I can later go back find them easily. I must admit, I got a little carried away with the most recent issue, but it had so many great healthy recipes to kick off the new year!
One that I was particularly interested in trying my hand at was Pan-roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas. I have never used Harissa in a recipe before, so I didn’t know what it looked or tasted like, or if it would be easy to find (of course my trusty Falletti Foods had a tube of Harissa paste). I had read in Bon Appetit that it was a “spicy North African red chile paste” but I must have forgot about the “spicy” part when I licked the remainder of the paste from the spoon – wow! I’m never one to turn down spiciness so I was excited to see how this dish would turn out. Yes, it was spicy – and yes, it was delicious!
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas (serves 4)
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- salt and pepper
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 TB tomato paste
- 2 15-oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup Harissa Paste
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 2 TB chopped flat leaf parsley
- 1 lemon, quartered
Falletti Foods was out of thighs, so the butcher broke up some full legs for me – which worked just fine. Most importantly, you want smaller pieces of chicken with the bone in and skin on, and typically thighs are best for this. They also have the juiciest meat!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Generously sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, then heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet. Braise the chicken for 5 minutes on each side, then transfer to a plate. Pour out most of the rendered oil, leaving about a tablespoon.
Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft – about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and sauté for another minute, then add chickpeas, Harissa and chicken broth and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then nestle chicken pieces into the chickpeas and transfer to oven and cook for 25 minutes. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges, and serve!
Not only was this meal super easy and quick to make, but it was delicious! The spice was intense, so this is certainly not a meal for children or people who can’t handle spicy food. And I highly recommend squeezing a bit of lemon over the chicken to add some zest to the plate.
I paired this dish with a Round Pond 2012 Rutherford Sauvignon Blanc that I purchased last February when I visited the winery with my family (over the holiday my dad reminded me that I should drink it soon). The wine has a good acid balance, with flavors of citrus and honeydew that juxtapose nicely with the spice in the Harissa. The wine even developed a bit of a pleasant nutty flavor when paired with the meal. I very much enjoyed this wine, but this meal would pair well with any crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Northern California, as well as a Chenin Blanc from South Africa.