Bookmark This Weeknight Duo

“Make It Tonight” is a weekly series from Fine Cooking that we subscribe to and provides quick weeknight recipes. While of course not everyone of them caters to our personal preferences, the vast majority are pretty spot on. Take this simple and satisfying easy main course, Roast Chicken with Chickpeas dinner for instance. Here, crisp-skinned, bone-in chicken thighs braise in a stew of fragrant Indian spices, onion, and chickpeas, each flavoring the other.


Because it was just the two of us, our package of poultry consisted on only five thighs, weighing in at two pounds instead of three. They all fit into one pan so there was no need to brown two batches, saving about 10 minutes.

And the “Make It Tonight” pairing of a Middle Eastern Savoy Cabbage Salad was a knock out side dish that was a perfect accompaniment to the flavors of the chicken. I mean, who doesn’t love pistachios?! I did cut the veggie ingredients in half for just the two of us, but made the full amount of dressing, and I’m glad I did. Personally, I do not like salads saturated with dressing, but in this case, after I initially added only half, we both agreed, it was so tasty and the vegetables were sturdy enough they could handle the entire amount. Yes, it was that good!


Even if you’re not overly fond of chickpeas, the treatment in this recipe adds the perfect amount of pungency from both the spices and the thighs as they impart their juices during the roasting process. The end result takes the chickpeas to another level with a subtle crispness and a boat-load of flavor. And you can’t ignore the health benefits of these legumes.

Chickpeas are sometimes known as garbanzo beans. They are particularly high in fiber. The iron, phosphate, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and vitamin K in chickpeas all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength. Plus, research shows that including chickpeas in the diet lowers the amount of low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, in the blood. Finally, the choline in chickpeas helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory.


Roast Chicken Thighs with Chickpeas

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 lb.)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper; more to taste
  • 1/2 cup lower-salt chicken broth
  • 2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°f.
  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry if wet and season lightly with salt. Working in two batches, brown the chicken on both sides, about 10 minutes per batch, adjusting the heat as necessary. Transfer to a plate.
  • Pour off all but 1 Tbs. of the fat in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the broth, scraping up any browned bits. Add the chickpeas and bring to a simmer. Return the thighs to the skillet, skin side up.
  • Transfer to the oven and roast until the chicken cooks through, 20 to 25 minutes. Top with the cilantro and serve with lemon wedges.


Middle Eastern Savoy Cabbage Salad

Middle Eastern ingredients like lemon, yogurt, cumin, and coriander flavor a creamy dressing that crinkly Savoy cabbage soaks right up. Use regular yogurt for the dressing; Greek yogurt is too thick. If you have extra dressing, (which I doubt you will) use it as a dip for vegetables or to dress another small salad. This would make a great lunch salad by itself.


Middle Eastern Savoy Cabbage Salad

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
  • Print


  • 1/2 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 small head Savoy cabbage, halved, cored, and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick ribbons (12 loosely packed cups)
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and shaved into ribbons with the peeler (about 2 lightly packed cups)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)
  • 1/4 cup chopped salted pistachios
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Soak the onion in cold water to mellow it, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  • Meanwhile, in an 8-inch skillet, heat the oil, cumin, and coriander over medium-low heat until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Let cool completely.
  • Add the lemon juice and zest, honey, and 1/2 tsp. salt to the spices in the pan and stir to combine. With a silicone spatula, fold in the yogurt until well combined.
  • Put the cabbage, carrots, mint, and onion in a large serving bowl.
  • Toss the salad with about two-thirds of the dressing. Let sit for about 10 minutes to soften the cabbage.
  • Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the salad. Grind some black pepper over the top and then drizzle with more dressing to taste. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, and serve.

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