In a crisis of craving, the can of chickpeas in my cabinet needed to be used ASAP. You see, my grandma makes this amazing pepper salad with sweet peppers, artichokes, and olives; she calls it “Marisa’s Pepper Salad” because I love it so much. About a week ago, Grandma made some for company and gave me the leftovers; but something was different this time. In a surprising new twist, there were chickpeas in there, kicking back in the juices with all the regulars.
I find chickpeas to be addictive in a potato chip kind of way—once you get a taste for them, it’s hard to stop. One meaty little pearl at the tip of my fork prong, and like a fish to a lure, I get hypnotized with stomach grumbling desire. Once discovering them in the pepper salad, I was set off on a foraging spree for more, picking over and pushing around anything in my way, just to feel another bean squish between my teeth.
As I’ve posted in the past with Greek and Mediterranean chicken, I’m always trying to think of ways to make boneless, skinless chicken breasts more interesting. Since I had both "chicks" on hand, I came up with this chicken in lime sauce with chickpea salad. While I don’t think I would call this a Moroccan dish, the chickpeas and cilantro along with the spice blend of cumin, paprika, tumeric, and cinnamon definitely showcase an underlying Moroccan influence.
This dish only takes about a half hour to make from start to finish, but it's sauce, essence, and substance make it seem as if it has been cooking for hours. Served with a side of simple couscous with white raisins, this was so good!
Chicken in Lime Sauce with Chickpea Salad:
Yield: 3-4 servings
- 1, 15 oz canned garbanzo beans, drained
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 heaping tsp tahini
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
- 1 teaspoon shallot, minced
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon each, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, paprika
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- About 1 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper for dredging
- Olive oil to sauté chicken
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
• In a medium bowl, mix together tahini, garlic, ginger, shallot, red wine vinegar, and spices. Slowly whisk in olive oil to form an emulsion. Add cilantro to dressing, season with salt and pepper. Toss garbanzo beans and tomatoes with dressing; set aside.
• Dredge chicken cutlets in seasoned flour. Heat oil in a medium-large skillet and cook chicken through; reserve. In the same skillet, melt butter and whisk in flour to make a roux; add chicken stock and lime juice, continuing to whisk and scraping up all browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add chicken back to the pan until it is thoroughly cooked through and the sauce has thickened. Plate chicken with sauce, and top with chickpea salad. Serve with couscous if you would like.