Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas: Healthy, Delicious, Start-to-Finish in 45 Minutes Chicken, Chickpeas, and Chard.  This delicious meal of chicken and chickpeas is flavorful and can be completed start to finish in 45 minutes.  The Harissa, a spicy North African red chile paste, adds a unique savory essence.  Serve with a side of lightly sauteed Chard or other leafy greens.

I made this dish to fulfill one of my new year's resolutions: Cook more meals.  I'm a serious baker--not necessarily a serious cook.  However, I think that anyone can cook--all it takes is a little effort.  So, one of my goals for January is to cook (and blog) about delicious, healthy meals.  

I was more than a little excited to use my newest toy--a round, 5.5 quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven.  Finally!  Thanks Santa ;)  The enameled cast iron of a dutch oven is very forgiving.  Burn the bottom?  No big deal--a little baking soda will make the burn marks disappear.  You could also easily do this dish in any skillet, and simply transfer to an oven-safe dish if your skillet is not oven safe.

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas Recipe, Adapted from Bon Appetit

Servings: 4 Active 20 minutes, Total time 45 minutes

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 8 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs, total 3 pounds (I used legs and breasts) 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed 1/4 c. harissa paste* 1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth 1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley lemon wedges, for serving

*Harissa may be found at Middle Eastern markets and specialty food stores. (I purchased from Whole Foods--Cava brand--near the hummus section.)

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.  Heal oil in large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Working in two batches, cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate.

2. Pour off all but one tablespoon 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 one minutes.  Add chickpeas, harissa, and broth; bring to a simmer.

Chickpeas with harissa paste, onions, and garlic

3. 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.