Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here a Chick, There a Chick

There were chicks all over the kitchen last night: chickpeas, chick-en, and this chick right here, whippin’ it all together.

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.

Chickpea Salad
Even after the very last chickpea had been scoped down and chomped up, I wasn’t finished. Like a hungry giant, I stomped over to raid the tiny town of tin cans inside of the cabinet; kneeling down, I opened the door, shedding light on my shadowed victim who stood tall among the rest. “What are you looking at, can of garbanzo beans? You’re next.”

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.


Claudia said...

This does look good - I am always looking to jazz chicken up (we eat A LOT of chicken). Love the spices and the richness of the sauce.

Roxan said...

I love chikpeas also! This dish looks great, and that lime sauce looks delicious - it almost looks like a gravy.

Adelina said...

Marisa your dish is just screaming with flavor... I love your list of ingredients... I can taste it in my mouth... maybe I am also really hungry.

Healthy Mamma said...

Marissa, this sounds so so wonderful! Totally and completly a dish I will fall in love with! I love chickpeas too! Most people I talk to say they don't, but I think they are in denial. ;)
So, in your post you mentioned that your gramma used peppers, olives and artichokes. Is your recipe just ommiting those? I adore those ingredients. If I made the recipe you listed and added the ing your gramma used is that the salad you were talking about?
that was a long-winded question... sorry! ;)

Jenny (VintageSugarcube) said...

Looks like a lot of deeelicousness happening. I love chickpeas and will try this one fo shizzle!

ravienomnoms said...

That looks awesome! Thanks for sharing it!

Foodtographer said...

This looks so good...even my wife would like this...I love chick peas and a great use for them..

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said...

Marisa! I like "this chick" right here :) I'm not a big fan of chickpeas but don't dislike. The lime sauce sounds intriguing. This might change my desire for chickpeas!

Hungry Jenny said...

Everywhere a chick-chick...

Sorry, I couldn't resist, haha!

Hungry Jenny x

Koci said...

I love all the different layers of flavor in this dish! Plus chickpeas are truly addictive, so this is a great way to eat even more of them. Very cool and very yummy!

Mother Rimmy said...

My daughter will love this salad. She's a huge chickpea fan!

~Lisa~ said...

I love chickpeas! Especially in salads. Your grandma is so cute to name the dish after you, very endearing. Grandma's are the best!

Lazaro Cooks! said...

We both share a love for chickpeas. Love the dish with the inclusion of the chicken and the bold flavor profile.

Be well

Amy said...

I love chickpeas! The tahini addition to this sauce sounds like it would make it silky as well as delicious. The cherry tomatoes are a nice addition for pops of flavor as well! Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

I'm so jealous!!! I can't eat chickpeas anymore...they give me the worst stomachache. I miss them SO much.
This salad looks amazing...flavorful and colorful. I'll have to live vicariously through you on this one...

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

wow this looks very tempting:) i love how flavorful this is...thanks for sharing this.

Megan said...

Hi Marisa! These looks awesome.... especially the lime chicken... And we have had a chick pea week here at our house too. Love them! Beautiful recipe with delicious flavors - Megan

Lauren Zabaneh said...

YUM! I'm in need of doing something other than hummus with chickpeas. They need a makeover in my house. This looks perfect. I love that your grandma named it after you.

Jenn from Much to My Delight said...

Oh man, chickpeas are an absolute must-have item in my house! When there are no chickpea cans in my pantry, I feel a longing and an emptiness. What is the difference between a chickpea and a garbanzo bean anyway? For some reason, I thought they were the same thing or at least close relatives.

This dish sounds fantastic--those are some of my favorite flavors. Moroccan food and all its spices wake up the senses! Thanks for sharing!

Magic of Spice said...

Fantastic dish...I would be craving this too. And the sauce :)