Chicken Thighs with Chickpeas
40 minutes (with cooked chickpeas)
A deceptively easy weeknight chicken dish (as long as you have cooked or canned chickpeas around) with much of the exotic spicing that makes North African cuisine so enjoyable. With the added chickpeas and vegetables, it’s also very nearly a one-pot meal; just serve it with rice or—more in keeping—couscous and you’re all set.
8 chicken thighs, about 2 pounds
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom or 5 or 6 whole white cardamom pods
1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ⁄ 4 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium zucchini (about 1 ⁄ 2 pound), trimmed and cut into chunks
1 cup drained cooked or canned chickpeas
1 cup peeled and seeded tomatoes (drained canned are fine)
1 ⁄ 2 cup chicken stock or water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
1. Remove the skin from the chicken. Combine the salt, pepper, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and cayenne and rub this mixture all over the meat.
2. Put the oil in a deep skillet or flameproof casserole, preferably nonstick, with a lid. Turn the heat to medium-high and wait a minute or so, until the oil is hot. Add the chicken, smooth side down, and brown it lightly, rotating and turning the pieces as necessary, about 10 minutes.
3. Add the zucchini. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini begins to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes; do not let the mixture dry out completely.
4. Add the stock and bring to a boil; turn down the heat, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the thighs are tender and cooked through. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper; taste and adjust the seasoning, then garnish and serve.