Growing up, my family consumed a fair amount of chicken. Regardless of the season, consumption generally revolved around the grilled or roasted variety. In the summer, grilled chicken caesar salads were the “go-to” dinner and in the winter (and particularly during the holidays), I was bestowed with roasted rosemary chicken, sometimes with lemon, garlic, cranberries, or other accompaniments.
Nowadays, we spice our chicken up with the “Pride of Szeged: The World’s Best Chicken Rub”, especially when we throw chicken breasts or thighs on the grill. And while I genuinely enjoy grilled chicken in any form: on salads, in sandwiches or wraps, or simply as a stand-alone dish, I do get burnt out on the general notion of grilled chicken. Last week, as I churned through the pages of my trusty Bon Appétit, I came across a pan-roasted chicken recipe, which looked both doable in nature and scrumptious in taste: Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa & Chickpeas.
This recipe called for skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs. Even though chicken breasts are seemingly more popular, chicken thighs are richer in flavor and are also cheaper by the pound. You start by seasoning each thigh with salt & pepper, cooking over the stovetop for a few minutes, and then adding in garlic, onion, tomato paste, chicken broth, harissa paste, and chicken broth. I hadn’t cooked with harissa before, but this North African red chili paste is a worthy additive and gives the chicken a necessary ‘kick’. I personally have a lower tolerance for spice than most people, so I abated the amount of chili paste necessary. The chickpeas’ buttery nature balances out the spices quite nicely, along with the chicken skin. The last step requires throwing everything together into an oven-proof saucepan for roasting. Topped with parsley and optional lemon halves, this one is a winner. Don’t be put off by the unctuous proceedings in regards to Step 1. Every other component and action in this recipe is fairly healthy.
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa & Chickpeas
Recipe taken from January 2014 issue of Bon Appétit
1 tbsp. olive oil
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 lb.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed
¼ cup harissa paste
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat oven to 425°. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.
Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. drippings from pan. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until beginning to darken, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas, harissa, and broth; bring to a simmer.
Nestle chicken, skin side up, in chickpeas; transfer skillet to oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Top with parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.