This is a hearty dish that warms your soul on a dreary autumn day. Sautéed chicken is seared and then braised in the oven in a Moroccan inspired spicy tomato sauce. It holds it’s own as a vegetarian option as well. Simply leave out the chicken and substitute vegetable broth for a savory chickpea stew.
While a more traditional interpretation uses chicken thighs, we liked lightening it up a bit with boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Chicken With Chickpeas in a Spicy Harissa Sauce:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and cook them in a little olive oil in an oven proof skillet until both sides are brown. Remove them and put them on a plate. Set aside.
Add a diced onion and a couple of cloves of diced garlic to the pan, and sauté until softened. Add a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste to the pan and stir. Add 1 can of chickpeas (rinsed), about 1/2 cup of chicken broth and a couple of tablespoons of harissa paste* to the pan. Bring to a simmer and place the chicken back into the skillet. Transfer to the oven, and roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
Serve on a bed of rice (we used cauliflower rice which is the perfect foil for the spiciness and low in calories) and enjoy!
*Harissa paste is a blend of hot peppers and olive oil, garlic, and aromatic spices such as cumin and coriander. It is available at fine grocery stores in the international foods aisle. We bought ours in a jar at Whole Foods. Each type of harissa is different, so adjust the quantity to accommodate your palette.
photo: Glasshouse Images