Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Crunchy Fried Chickpeas with Garlic

On the face of it this dish is exceptionally simple. It only has five ingredients after all, and two of those are salt and pepper. And it is simple, but the reason I felt compelled to share is because they are just too delicious! Pan frying allows the chickpeas to form a crunchy crust and softens and fluffs the rich, nutty insides. Adding garlic and salt paste toward the end just absolutely perfects it and makes the chickpea insides taste kind of sweet. For this reason and because we can't get enough of them, my fiancee calls them candy. We never end up with leftovers, no matter how many times I've multiplied the recipe. In fact, I recommend doubling the recipe (seriously, there just never seem to be enough) and it multiplies beautifully, so long as you cook it in small enough batches to have a single layer at the bottom of the pan with space in between chickpeas.

Crispy Fried Chickpeas with Garlic

1 can of chickpeas, rinsed under cold running water and drained

1.5 Tablespoons olive oil*

1 clove of garlic

salt, to taste

black pepper to taste, freshly ground

1. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil enough to cover the bottom of the pan and slightly creep up the sides.

2. When the oil is so hot that a tiny bubble or two starts to form,** add the chickpeas.

3. Shake the pan over the heat to coat the chickpeas, then leave them alone for 3 minutes, to allow that side to sear. Shake the pan to turn the chickpeas to a new side for searing and leave the dish alone for 3 minutes. Repeat one or more times, until the outside of the chickpeas has turned a darker color and has started to look crispy all around.

4. When the chickpeas have about 3 minutes more, toss some salt on a salad plate to cover with a very thin layer and crush a garlic clove into a paste using the back of a spoon or fork and bracing the garlic with the salt. When the garlic has been mashed into tiny pieces and the salt is incorporated the paste is ready to add to the chickpeas.

5. When your timer set for 3 minutes goes off, turn off the heat under the chickpeas and scrape garlic paste into the pan with the chickpeas. Stir to incorporate. Let dish sit in still-hot pan for another minute, then move to serving dish.

6. Serve while still warm.

I served it alongside a lemon and butter roasted chicken, a butter lettuce salad with a garlic-y dressing and some long grain brown rice (not pictured, but it was yummy together).

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I welcome your feedback!

*Use enough to cover the bottom of your large saucepan. More may be needed. You want enough oil to pan fry in and get some crispiness creeping up along the sides of the beans

**I know olive oil has a low smoking point, but we're pan frying the chickpeas and olive oil is ok for pan frying.

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