Extraordinary Marinated and Roasted Chicken, Potatoes, and Chickpeas

By • January 11, 2014 110 Comments

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Author Notes: After its stint in the oven, the marinade cooks down to this incredible, sticky savoriness around the potatoes and chicken. And when combined with the crispy bits of chickpeas, tender chicken, and marinade-sodden potatoes, it's heaven on a plate. This is adapted from Elaine Boddy's "Lebanese Inspired Potatoes and Chickpeas" from her lovely blog "foodbod."Selma | Selma's Table

Food52 Review: WHO: Divasparkle is an adventurous cook who hails from across the pond, in London.
WHAT: A comforting one-dish meal with a sauce built in.
HOW: If you've read the title of this recipe, you know the method -- just marinate, roast, and eat.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This is the ultimate dinner-party dish; it will taste like you've been working on it all day, but you'll know the truth: You spent 10 minutes mixing the marinade and turning on the oven, and had the rest of the day to yourself. Tell them, or don't; it's up to you.
The Editors

Serves 4 to 6

  • 400 grams chickpeas (about one 15-ounce can)
  • 800 grams (1 3/4 pounds) potatoes
  • 1 medium head of garlic, cloves separated
  • 8 bone in, skin on, chicken thighs
  • For the marinade:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 to 3 lemons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste (or to your taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • To finish/serve:
  • 2 teaspoons dry-roasted whole cumin seeds
  • 80 grams chopped coriander leaves and stalks (or one small handful)
  • 300 milliliters Greek yogurt or tzatziki (or enough for each serving to have a generous dollop)
  1. The day before, rinse and drain the chickpeas. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 3 inch chunks.
  2. Give the lemons 30 seconds or so in the microwave to help release more juice, or roll on a flat surface while applying a little pressure. Slice in half and squeeze out as much juice as you can. Mix the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  3. Place the chicken, chickpeas, potatoes, and garlic in a large freezer bag and pour in the marinade. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag. Flop it around a bit to make sure that the marinade gets everywhere. Place on a plate or in a bowl and pop in the fridge to marinate for a day. Turn the bag over whenever you open the fridge over the next 24 hours. (Alternatively, you can just mix the chicken, marinade, and other ingredients in a bowl, and place that bowl, covered, in the fridge, mixing occasionally as it marinates.)
  4. An hour or so before you are ready to eat, heat the oven to 200º C (375º F). Remove the bag from the fridge and tumble the contents into a roasting dish large enough for everything to be spread out. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the dish tightly with foil and cook for 1 hour. Remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes or so, until the chicken skin and potatoes are crispy and cooked through, and the chickpeas get a little crunchy. Watch carefully to make sure the marinade does not go from gooey and delicious to a burnt crisp. Remove from the oven and scatter over the roasted cumin seeds and chopped coriander leaves.
  5. Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or tzatziki on the side, and prepare to be worshipped.

More Great Recipes: Chicken Thighs|Chicken|Potatoes|Rice & Grains|Entrees

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Comments (110) Questions (3)

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16 days ago Amanda

I had the same problem as other folks, the sauce did not thicken and it picked up a lot of fat from the thighs, but the flavor is AMAZING! Very very tasty. Leftovers for lunch were fabulous!

My only deviation from the recipe was to omit the buttermilk. I also put everything under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp the chicken skin, and put the potatoes and chickpeas back in the over for an additional 20 min - my potato chunks were big. I will make this again for sure, and try a much larger pan and trimming fat off of the thighs.

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about 1 month ago ellemmdee

Kindly provide guidance on amount of chicken in pounds. So much variation in size of thighs these days! Thanks. Sounds yummy.

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about 1 month ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

The recipe is delicous, it's amazing really, Honestly, you don't have to worry about the weight of the chicken, It looks like Selma used 8 meaty thighs and IMHO thats what you should use. I am actually making this today and I decided to use a whole cut up chicken instead of just thighs. I doubled the marinade for a whole chicken cut up, it totals 8 pieces of chicken of different sizes. I had a little left over but thats ok I really slathered the bird with the marinade.

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about 1 month ago Gail

I would love to make this recipe, but my husband hates chick peas. Is there an alternative I can use?

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4 months ago Food-G

I commented earlier on this fabulous recipe-- such flavor! But the missing detail is pan size. For a thicker sauce or glaze to form without overcooking the chicken a pretty large pan needs to be used. I wonder, has anyone tried using a rimmed baking sheet or a large (turkey-size) roasting pan?

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4 months ago Richard

Sounds+like+an+awesome+recipe.+I+read+a+lot+of+reviews+to+see+what+others+think.+One+thing+I+noticed+were+numerous+comments+about+the+sauce+not+reducing+to+the+delicious+glaze+state+you+mention+in+your+recipe.+Is+there+any+way+I+can+avoid+this+issue+myself?+Thank+You.

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5 months ago Richard

Is it just me? I got WAY different results. The flavor was good, although I think my favorite was the combination of tzatziki with the chicken. After an hour in the pan sealed with foil, there was ALOT of cooking liquid. 15 minutes unsovered came no where near reducing it to a useable sauce. I seperated, reduced and thickened the remainder. I was expecting a little more harissa kick too.

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7 months ago MissChristina

Thanks for sharing this recipe! Tried it this past weekend, but with a couple of tweaks: couldn't find harissa, so I was planning to omit it (since my toddler would also be eating this, and wanted it less spicy), but decided last minute to add a few squirts of sriracha. Maybe not the same taste profile as harissa, but sriracha is vinegary, so the flavor blended in, and the heat is ever so slight. Perfect for us. Additionally, I usually make large batches of chicken to last a few days, so I had almost 2lbs of drumsticks instead of thighs, plus almost 2lbs of potatoes, thus, I added an extra tea/table spoon of each condiment to the marinade. Used 2 lemons. The amount of marinade seemed just right for the extra meat and potatoes, not too much or little. But after the initial 1 hour roast, I also thought it was too watery. The extra 15 minutes uncovered crisped the tops a little, but everything else was in the sauce. The dish was very tasty on the first night, and everyone (including toddler) loved it. HOWEVER! We just had our second meal tonight, and I scooped out a portion into another dish to reheat. This time around, the sauce got to the sticky consistency as the author noted, and the potatoes and chick peas had a beautiful caramelized coating of the sauce. Lots of crispy bits on the second heating. The garlic cloves also melted down more, and was sooooo deliriously goooood. *Yum* So... maybe the folks who had liquidy results can give it a second day?

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7 months ago NotTooSweet

This was delicious! Made it using Food-G's harissa substitution, otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The chicken was done perfectly at the 1 hour, 15 minute mark - but the potatoes needed more time and the marinade was still liquid, not gooey at all. I removed the chicken (kept it warm) and put the roasting pan back in the oven. It took another 20 minutes or so for the sauce to get less liquid. The flavors of this dish were amazing and the chicken was so juicy. I will definitely make this again. Next time, I may just remove that foil 15 minutes earlier and see if that helps in the cooking. Thanks much for a terrific one-pot dish!

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8 months ago Clover88

Used 3 lemons, followed all directions exactly. Too much sauce (maybe fat from chicken?), but good flavor. Guess at the table really liked it. Will try again with less lemon to try to achieve the "sticky" sauce and crisp chickpeas.

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9 months ago Food-G

Fabulous! Made this a couple nights ago for a weeknight dinner. It was so nice to just plop it in the oven and end up with a spectacular meal. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, but used a whole cut-up chicken, and substituted chili-garlic sauce and a shake or two each of cumin, coriander, smoked and sweet paprika for the harissa (none on hand). I added about a teaspoon of fine sea salt to the marinade. I used only a pinch of chili flakes since I have a 3-year old. I wasn't sure on what size roasting pan was best, but ended up using a large ceramic baking dish, like 12x16". The juices never reduced to a glaze, but the chicken did get crispy enough and there was a pleasing amount of sauce for everything. Hubs and I decided we preferred this without the garnishes, which give it a much more ethnic flavor. This is going into our regular rotation. Thank you!

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8 months ago Selma | Selma's Table

Oh, that's wonderful! I am so happy you liked it and you have kept the subs true to the flavour of the dish. Thanks for the feedback!

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9 months ago ECMotherwell

Made this last week, and it was delicious, a great hit! One note: I thought the marinating meat/potatoes looked too dry, so I made just a bit more marinade and added it to the bag. In the end, the dish never baked into crispiness; the result was a lot juicier than I wanted. Next time I'll follow the recipe!

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8 months ago Selma | Selma's Table

I know that the marinade doesn't seem enough but it is! Glad you enjoyed it otherwise!

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10 months ago Kylie

Would it be okay if I left this to marinate for 2 days?

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10 months ago Selma | Selma's Table

Hi Kylie - I am so sorry but as I haven't tried this, I can't really comment. The lemon may start to affect the texture of the chicken but if you try it do let me know how it goes.

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10 months ago kedivine

Finally made this last night and wow - it was as delicious as everyone says! I followed the ingredients and directions for the most part. I doubled the marinade as others had suggested, but it ended up being way too much liquid that did not cook down into a sauce unless I extended the "foil-off" cooking. My chicken thighs came out perfectly crispy (patted them dry a bit to remove excess marinade before popping in the oven), but due to the extended cooking time, they were a bit dry. I also experienced a lot of extra oil in the dish that required skimming, which is probably because I did not trim much fat from the thighs to begin with. Next time I might consider making the dish (as is) but cooking the chicken (or other protein) separately, with maybe a dry harissa-style rub. Overall, wonderful and interesting flavors that smelled and tasted to die for!

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10 months ago kedivine

Has anyone skipped the mayo or substituted full-fat greek yogurt? Thought about subbing yogurt, but did not want the sauce to break.

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10 months ago Selma | Selma's Table

Hi Kedivine - in the comments further down, someone mentioned that they subbed yoghurt and the sauce split. I have read somewhere that you can stabilise yoghurt by stirring in a little flour but I have not tried this. I have skipped the mayo but think it serves to stabilise the sauce on cooking. Without it, it seemed quite oily.

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10 months ago Christine Craver

I tried this recipe and realized that I do not like the taste of harissa.

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10 months ago paseo

So leave it out. After all, there isn't much in the recipe and it's just fine w/o.

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10 months ago Selma | Selma's Table

Hi Christine Do leave out harissa if you don't like it - I always adjust recipes to suit our palate - we like strong bold flavours a lot!

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10 months ago Christine Craver

Good point! But I'm glad I tried something new!

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11 months ago Leslie Vean

I read to separate the garlic cloves but not to peel them, are they peeled or cooked in their skins and squeezed out after?

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10 months ago Selma | Selma's Table

Hi Leslie - keep them in their skins which protect the cloves then serve them up for each diner to cut off the end and squeeze out tiny amounts of the gooey mild savoury garlic paste onto a forkful of the chicken. It's fantastic. Smaller ones may caramelise but these are amazing -chewy and just so delicious!

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11 months ago Claudia

Others might have better suggestions, but if it were me, I'd use a non-dairy yogurt and maybe a little extra of a liquid ingredient, like soy sauce, to make up for the consistency difference.

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11 months ago Gabrielle S.

I'm thinking of making this recipe for a large group but I would need to make it dairy-free. How essential is the buttermilk? And are there any substitutes that might work well?

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10 months ago Selma | Selma's Table

Gabrielle, I am so sorry for the late reply. The buttermilk helps to tenderise the chicken but having said that, there is not a huge amount of it so perhaps you could add the juice from another lemon instead. I hasten to add that I have not tried this and it may make the chicken very tangy. A friend uses mayo which is also a good sub. Do come back and let me know what you did and how it worked out.

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11 months ago Claudia

I've made this twice now -- a definite keeper. First...it's a great dish for company on a work night...put it together the night before and just pour it into the oven the next night. Put something green on the side and pick up the best pita in your neighborhood, and taziki too. The first time I used some Thai chili paste, and the second I had time to make my own Harissa...I think both were good. I also doubled the sauce ingredients...it was so good with the pita.

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10 months ago Selma | Selma's Table

Thanks for your lovely comments and the feedback too, Claudia! Interesting that you used Thai Chili paste - I must look out for that and add to the chili arsenal shelf!! The sauce is so good and I will try doubling it myself, after various comments (including yours!)

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11 months ago Dawn Murphy

Letting the veg marinate with the chicken is safe? I'm a newbie cook, and always get worried about food poisoning.

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11 months ago Selma | Selma's Table

Hi Dawn - yes, it is completely safe - you will be cooking it all up at the same time, in the same dish, so there is no problem with cross contamination.