Lebanese-inspired Chickpea and Chicken Stew
April 20, 2013
Aunt Suzy says . . .
Margaux and I are on the lookout for good recipes using shredded chicken. I was looking for something new to make but that would be fast and easy on a busy Sunday. I love all the flavors in this stew, so thought I’d give it a whirl. It was a hit! Randy and I both agreed that I should double the recipe next time – we barely had a small lunch portion left after eating. We served it with a salad, baguette and some a Pinot Gris wine. Since spring is seeming like it is not going to show up this year, this warming dish was especially welcome on a cold and snowy day.
Margaux says . . .
This dish was a hit in our house, too! We always love bean stews, so I knew it would probably get gobbled up. At Aunt Suzy’s suggestion, I made a double recipe, and I’m glad I did. It was the perfect amount for dinner and then lunch for Desi and me the next day.
When I made this, I misread the recipe and used bone-in chicken, and it was really good, if a little greasy. I just skimmed as much of the extra fat off the top as I could. This would be a great recipe to use for leftover shredded chicken, I would just use chicken broth instead of water, and add the chicken at the end with the red peppers, etc. It would also be good vegetarian, eliminating the chicken altogether. In that case, I would maybe use more red pepper.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
4 cups water or chicken stock or a combination
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and sliced into 1-inch pieces
Juice of ½ lemon, or more
1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt; add to the pot and cook, turning once, until browned, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to low and let oil cool slightly; add garlic and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, 30–60 seconds. Add cumin, tomato paste, and red pepper flakes; stir until a smooth paste forms, about 1 minute. Add the liquid, the reserved chicken with any accumulated juices and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, occasionally stirring, until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a plate and let cool slightly. Add chickpeas to pot; bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Shred the chicken. Add the chicken, red peppers, half the herbs and lemon juice; simmer for a couple of minutes until heated through. Season with salt and more lemon juice, if desired. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with more of the herbs.