We grew chickpeas, ceci, at Bramasole, pulled them up by their roots, and wedged them in crotches of olive trees to dry. Then one windy day, we’d rub the husks between our hands and the chickpeas would fall into a bucket and the husks would blow away. Beautiful to do and see. But I’ve frequently bought already to use and popped them in the Instant Pot until done. And I’ve bought them in cans (hummus, anyone?). This is a favorite of ours from The Tuscan Sun Cookbook and go to it frequently.
Remember where this recipe is, and when in doubt, find it. The Mediterranean flavors transform “just chicken” into a memorable dinner.
Chickpeas continue to be a love of ours. Just a taste of chickpea fritters, which are a favorite Sicilian street food, and we were fans. Now we roast them for snacks, serve them with herbs and tomatoes as a cold salad, and adore them in this super-fast piatto unico, one-pot dinner.
5 TABLESPOONS BRAMASOLE EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
1 YELLOW ONION, CHOPPED
3 CHICKEN BREASTS, HALVED, SKIN ON
1 TEASPOON SALT
½ TEASPOON PEPPER
½ CUP RED WINE
¼ CUP CHOPPED FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY
1 15-OUNCE CHICKPEAS, DRAINED AND RINSED
2 14-OUNCE CANS WATER-PACKED ARTICHOKE HEARTS, DRAINED
½ CUP SUN-DRIED TOMATOES, SLIVERED, OR 1 CUP SLICED OVEN-ROASTED TOMATOES
¼ CUP FRESH THYME OR FRESH MARJORAM LEAVES OR 2 TABLESPOONS DRIED
½ CUP BLACK OR GREEN OLIVES, PITTED
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Over medium-low heat, in a large, enameled ovenproof pot with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sauté the onion, and after about 3 minutes, remove it to a medium bowl. Season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil to the pot, raise the heat to medium-high, and brown the chicken for 3 minutes per side. Add the wine, bring it quickly to a boil, and then turn the heat off immediately.
Combine the onion with the parsley, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, and olives. Spread the combined vegetables over the chicken, and bake, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the size of the pieces, turning the chicken once. Serve right from the pot or transfer to a platter.
Excerpt From The Tuscan Sun Cookbook
Frances Mayes and Edward Mayes
Photos by Steven Rothfeld