Juicy chicken thighs are coated in a bold tomato rub with lots of fresh garlic and warm, earthy spices including smoked paprika and cumin, and brightened with a hint of lemon juice. The whole thing comes together in a flash — simply chop some veggies and season everything with the tomato rub. Toss it into a sheet pan and roast.
There is nothing complicated about the ingredient list either. You just need some spices, chickpeas, vegetables, and chicken. For more heat, use hot smoked paprika instead. It lends itself well to customizations, so feel free to swap out carrots for other root veggies like beets or parsnips, or add potatoes or sweet potatoes for more heft.
While we did start out piling everything on one sheet pan (against out better judgement), after 30 minutes in the oven, we transferred the chicken thighs on another prepared baking sheet and covered with foil. The reason being, the vegetables were steaming instead of roasting. The veggies went back into the oven to continue cooking until fork tender and beginning to brown slightly, another 10-15 minutes. As the vegetable tray was roasting, we then popped the thighs, uncovered, under the broiler (we have a 2-oven stove).
Next time, we may start with dividing everything between 2 sheet pans from the start. You may prep ahead by chopping the vegetables and making the sauce. Just refrigerate them until ready to begin cooking.
FYI, we are using boneless skinless chicken thighs here, but bone-in thighs or boneless skinless breasts would work as well. Since boneless, skinless chicken breasts cook in about 18 minutes in the oven, you will need to roast your vegetables for about 10 minutes first, then add the breasts. Otherwise, the carrots won’t cook in time.
6 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 2 inch pieces
2 medium onions, halved and cut into ½ inch slices
1 15-oz. can of chickpeas, drained
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat if necessary
Position one rack in the center of the oven and another one 4 or 5 inches under the broiler. Preheat the oven to 425°F
Prepare the tomato rub: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, paprika, and Aleppo pepper. Whisk well to combine.
Prepare the chicken and vegetables: Lightly brush a large sheet pan with some of the olive oil. In a large bowl, combine the carrots, onions, and chickpeas. Season well with salt and black pepper (about ½ teaspoon each). Add 4 tablespoons of the tomato rub and a small drizzle of olive oil (about 1 teaspoon), and mix well to coat. Transfer the mixture to the sheet pan. Set bowl aside for chicken.
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and black pepper on both sides. Place the chicken in the reserved bowl and add the remaining tomato mixture, tossing until the chicken is well coated.
Transfer the chicken to the sheet pan(s) along with the chickpeas and vegetables. Roast on the center rack until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes (ours took more like 45 minutes). Then move the sheet pan up to the top rack directly under the heat and broil until the chicken gains some color, 3 to 4 minutes, watching carefully. The onions and carrots may also gain some char.
Serve with your favorite rustic bread, if desired.
When cooking chickpeas, most recipes call for roasting them in the oven, but they never really crispen up enough. And when you crave a crunchy snack, roasting just won’t do the trick.
Switching to the stovetop and frying the chickpeas in olive oil provides the big crunch factor. A quick toss in a sweet-and-savory mixture of sugar and smoked paprika makes the chickpeas incredibly addictive.
To begin with, make sure to dry the chickpeas thoroughly with paper towels before placing them in the oil. In order to get crisp chickpeas, it’s important to keep the heat high enough to ensure the oil is simmering the entire time.
After about 12 minutes, test for doneness by removing a few chickpeas and placing them on a paper towel to cool slightly before tasting. If they are not quite crisp yet, continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, checking occasionally for doneness.
Once I tasted them, I could hardly stop. What a great flavorful snack to munch on!
Combine paprika, sugar, salt, and pepper in large bowl. Heat oil in Dutch oven over high heat until just smoking. Add chickpeas and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden and crisp, 12 to 15 minutes.
Using slotted spoon, transfer chickpeas to paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain briefly, then toss in bowl with spice mix. Serve. (Chickpeas can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 hours.)
We found this lovely and full-flavored vegetarian dish in Milk Street’s Fast and Slow Cookbook for Instant Pot Cooking. A tagine is a North African stew cooked in a shallow, conical clay pot that goes by the same name. This chunky vegetable dish is warmly spiced like a tagine and features the common North African pairing of sweet and tart flavors.
For extra depth and a touch of spiciness, swirl in a spoonful of harissa into the tagine just before serving or offer some at the table for spooning on to taste. You will probably want to soak up the delicious sauce with crusty bread, warmed flatbread or couscous (or choice).
Be aware, you don’t want to shortcut the prep by leaving the tomatoes whole. Slicing 2 pints of grape tomatoes may sound like a bummer, but this step helps the tomatoes break down and cook at the same rate as the eggplant.
2 lbs. eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
15½ oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp. lemon juice, plus lemon wedges to serve
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, finely chopped
On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select Normal/Medium Sauté.
Add the oil and garlic, then cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
Add the onion, tomatoes, ginger, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, 2½ teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to release some of their juices, 2 to 4 minutes.
Press Cancel, then stir in ¼ cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Gently stir in the eggplant, then distribute in an even layer.
Lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; set the pressure level to Low. Set the cooking time for 3 minutes. When pressure cooking is complete, quick-release the steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
Gently stir in the chickpeas and lemon juice, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cilantro.
Serve drizzled with additional oil and with lemon wedges on the side.
According to a recent issue of Milk Street Magazine, this aromatic Moroccan dish, called harira, is traditionally served during Ramadan to break the daily fast. It’s sometimes vegetarian, other times meaty, and depending on the cook, its consistency may be thick and hearty or light and brothy.
This recipe calls for lamb, but you could substitute an equal amount of boneless beef chuck. Note that the chickpeas require soaking, which we did, to cook at the same rate as the meat. For convenience, however, you can skip the dried chickpeas and simply stir some drained canned chickpeas into the stew at the end.
Speaking of those chickpeas, we felt that only 1/3 cup for those and the lentils was way too few in the end. We advise tripling both to 1 cup each to help thicken the base, which we deemed too thin. These larger amounts are noted in the ingredients list below.
We opted for the Fast version here, but Milk Street also offers directions on a Slow method if you prefer. Don’t forget to serve with lemon wedges which add a bright note, and a drizzle of grassy extra-virgin olive oil. If not counting carbs, offer crusty bread for soaking up the broth.
Don’t use brown or regular green lentils in place of the lentils du Puy. Though those varieties do hold their shape, they cook up with a softer, more yielding texture than Puy lentils, which stay quite firm and offer textural contrast to the stew.
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
6 medium celery stalks, sliced ½ to ¾ inch thick
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
6 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
3 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. sweet paprika
14½ oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand
2 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder or beef chuck, trimmed and cut into ¾- to 1-inch chunks
1 cup lentils du puy
1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, flat-leaf parsley or a mixture, chopped, plus more to serve
Directions (for the fast version)
In a small bowl, stir together 2 cups water and 1½ teaspoons salt. Add the chickpeas and soak at room temperature for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain and set aside.
On a 6-quart Instant Pot, select Normal/Medium Sauté. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the celery, onion, garlic, ginger and 2½ teaspoons salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
Add the cinnamon, paprika and 1½ teaspoons pepper, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes and 4 cups water, scraping up browned bits. Add the lamb, lentils and chickpeas; stir to combine, then distribute in an even layer.
Press Cancel, lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 15 minutes.
When pressure-cooking is complete, let the pressure reduce naturally for 15 minutes, then release the remaining steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, then stir in the parsley and/or cilantro. Serve sprinkled with additional herbs and drizzled with oil
You know we love all-things-Spanish, so it went without saying that when we saw this Spanish Shrimp and Chickpea Stew recipe from Milk Street, we were immediately intrigued. It seems at Palacio Carvajal Girón, in the Extremadura region of Spain, Milk Street staff tasted a delicious shellfish and chickpea stew that was rich and redolent with locally produced smoked paprika. Requiring both a ham- and langoustine-infused broth and made with dried chickpeas, the dish was a time- and labor-intensive preparation.
Their much-simplified version captures the essence of the stew in just a fraction of the time. It uses canned chickpeas for convenience, and the broth gets flavor from bottled clam juice and the viscous liquid from the chickpeas. A combination of Spanish smoked paprika and standard sweet paprika gives the stew deep color and earthy complexity without overwhelming the shrimp.
Don’t forget to reserve ½ cup of the liquid before draining the can of chickpeas. The liquid adds both body and flavor to the broth. When peeling the shrimp, don’t remove the tails because they also lend flavor to the broth. But do remove the tails when halving the seared shrimp so that the pieces are easier to eat in the finished stew. In all honesty, you can skip this step if you don’t mind serving the shrimp whole with tails intact.
1 Tbsp. sweet paprika Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 Lb. extra-large (21/25 per pound) shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
2 Tbsp. salted butter
1 Medium leek, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, thinly sliced, rinsed and dried
4 Medium garlic cloves, minced
15½ Oz. can chickpeas, ½ cup liquid reserved, drained
8 Oz. bottle clam juice
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, to serve
In a medium bowl, stir together both paprikas and ¾ teaspoon pepper; measure 2 tablespoons into a small bowl and set aside. Add the shrimp to the paprika mixture in the medium bowl and toss to coat; set aside.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the shrimp in an even layer; reserve the bowl. Cook without stirring until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, return the shrimp to the bowl. In the same pot over medium, melt the butter.
Add the leek and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and the reserved paprika mixture, then cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the chickpeas, the reserved chickpea liquid and the clam juice. Bring to a simmer, then reduce to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Meanwhile, remove the tails from the shrimp and cut each in half crosswise. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the shrimp along with accumulated juices.
Cover and let stand until the shrimp are opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with parsley and drizzled with additional oil.