Smoked Paprika Roasted Chicken… with chickpeas, tomatoes and yoghurt sauce.


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Smoked Paprika Roasted Chicken… with chickpeas, tomatoes and yoghurt sauce.  I’m always looking for a good chicken recipe…  one that’s relatively easy and sort of different.  I recently came across this smoked paprika roasted chicken and immediately knew I was going to try it…. just because I’m always attracted to recipes that call for smoked paprika. And I really, really liked the idea of a yoghurt sauce. Truthfully, I loved all the ingredients:). The recipe sounded really good to me and I really so wanted to make it… ASAP. And  because of my impatience, my first try turned out a bit different than the recipe I’m sharing today.
When I first made the recipe, I used ingredients I had in the house… used chicken thighs instead of the bone-in chicken breast, used frozen peas instead of the chickpeas,  added some onion, and used campari tomatoes cut in wedges instead of the cherry tomatoes. Oh, and I used hot smoked paprika instead of regular… and skipped the crushed pepper flakes. I loved the recipe so much, that I wanted to make it again. And I did:)…
This time I made the dish a bit closer to the original recipe… the only  thing I changed was to add the onion, because I rather liked it the first time around, and decided to still use the hot smoked paprika. The thing is… I loved both versions! They were both such colorful dishes, even though they were slightly different. I think the frozen pea variation was a bit quicker, just because I didn’t have to cook them beforehand, as I did with the chickpeas. I suppose if you use canned chickpeas, it would be just as quick. In any case, both versions were delicious. 
I think this recipe is a perfect dish to make when you have company. The flavors aren’t overpowering at all, so most folks would probably enjoy it. Obviously, if you do not care for the cumin or cilantro, opt to skip them and maybe add some parsley instead…. or a bit of oregano, thyme, basil, etc. The dish is quite adaptable to a variety of ingredients… you could use any white bean for the chickpeas, or even omit them. Next time, I’m wanting to skip the beans and add some parboiled potato chunks…. or even some roasted diced potatoes during the last 5 minutes of baking. It’s the spices that make this dish sing…
The accompanying sauce, I felt, was quite minimal for my taste. I would love to double it next time… just because I really liked the refreshing touch of the yoghurt. And I love dishes with some sort of sauce, maybe it’s the European blood in me:). But if you are looking to make a different sort of chicken dish you might want to give this simple recipe a try. I think it’s worth making at least once. Varies things up a bit…. and it’s gluten-free. Hope you enjoy…

Tip: Re-heat leftovers in toaster oven… you could cut up the chicken and add the vegetables on top of a salad  and dress with yoghurt sauce…. or place chicken/vegetables in a pita bread/wrap and drizzle with yoghurt sauce.
You will need: adapted from Epicurious
4-6 rib-in chicken breast halves, (I used 6 small chicken breasts)

Marinade: reserve 1 tsp marinade to make yoghurt sauce, can reserve 2 tsps if doubling sauce.
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon hot smoked paprika*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
* you could use sweet smoked paprika and add 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

2 cups cooked chickpeas(garbanzo beans)
2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 sweet onion, cut in 1 inch dice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, lightly packed
salt to taste
Yoghurt Sauce: I found the sauce minimal, and think it could easily be doubled.
1/2 cup plain greek yoghurt
1 tsp marinade oil from above
pinch of salt
fresh chopped cilantro to taste
  • Preheat oven to 450°F
  • Place rack in top third oven position 

1. Mix marinade ingredients in medium bowl.
2. Remove 1 teaspoon( or 2 if doubling sauce) of the spiced oil mixture into small bowl…
MAKE YOGHURT SAUCE: combine the reserved spiced oil, yoghurt and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
3. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of the spiced oil mixture over the chicken chicken breasts and rub all over.
4. Place chicken on large rimmed baking sheet. Add beans all around the chicken breasts.
5. Mix 1/2 cup chopped cilantro in remaining spiced oil mixture add a pinch of salt or so, then add the tomatoes and  toss to coat. Place tomatoes all around the chicken and add the diced onion as well.

6. Place pan on top 1/3 rack of oven and  roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes, or until done… depending on thickness. 
7. Sprinkle with extra chopped fresh cilantro. 
8. Transfer chicken to a plate and spoon some of the bean/tomato/onion mixture around. Serve with the yogurt sauce.
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