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012.2.09Roast Paprika Chicken, Garbanzo Beans and Tomatoes over Couscous

Posted Dec 02 2009 12:00am
Step 3: Mixing chicken, oil mixture and vegetables.

Step 3: Mixing chicken, oil mixture and vegetables.

Step 4: After adding the vegetables. Almost done.

Step 4: After adding the vegetables. Almost done.

Step 7: Plating the Dish

Step 7: Plating the Dish

Paprika is too overqualified as a garnish. It sits in the back of most spice racks behind the thyme, basil and rosemary. Blame it on the average grocery store’s fault for offering a pretty spice with no substance. I thought sour cream was the star of the traditional Hungarian dish, Chicken Paprikash. I love how gourmet stores, food television networks and online media have expanded our culinary repertoires.

Looking for ingredients for a spicy enchilada dish at a gourmet store, I discovered a Spanish Smoked paprika. There were three versions: bittersweet, sweet or spicy. I picked the sweet version and returned home. I gently dipped a spoon into the tin can to retrieve a hint of a taste. It was powder to the paprika pandemonium delicious. The future of my menus would alter dramatically. The social order of my spices shifted. Paprika was no longer limited as a garnish. It has become one of my favorite spices. I use it minimally, because it’s a dominant flavor.

The Roast Paprika Chicken, Garbanzo Beans and Tomatoes over Couscous recipe is simple and quick. Find the source of the recipe at the end of this post. My version may be more complicated. However, it’s a quick weekday meal.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tbsp. smoked paprika*
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (adjust to taste)
2 tsp. tomato paste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup/5 oz. of Greek yogurt
4 chicken breast halves or legs with thighs, with bones and skin
1-15 oz. can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 to 1-1/2 cups of grape tomatoes cut lengthwise
1 small red onion, roughly chopped
1-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro; divided in thirds

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Whisk first 7 ingredients in medium bowl. Separate 3 tbsp. of oil mixture into a different bowl.

3. Rub remainder portion of oil mixture onto chicken. Toss tomatoes, garbanzo beans, red onion and the first third cup of cilantro with chicken.

4. Separate chicken from mixture and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the vegetables to the chicken. Roast for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.

5. Making the yogurt sauce: Whisk the rest of the oil mixture (see step 2) with yogurt and the second third cup of cilantro. Set aside.

6. Preparing the couscous: Boil 1 to 1½ cups of chicken stock. Add 1 cup of couscous. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and add last third of cilantro.

7.  To plate: Put couscous onto plate. Top with chicken and vegetables. Spoon the yogurt sauce on top.

* Note: Find smoked paprika at specialty gourmet stores.

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