Extraordinary Marinated and Roasted Chicken, Potatoes, and Chickpeas

By • January 11, 2014 • 94 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."divasparkle

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.
A&M

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.
Jump to Comments (94)

Comments (94) Questions (3)

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8 days 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 days 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 days ago divasparkle

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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11 days ago Christine Craver

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

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11 days 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 days ago divasparkle

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 days ago Christine Craver

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

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20 days 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 days ago divasparkle

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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23 days 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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24 days 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 days ago divasparkle

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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26 days 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 days ago divasparkle

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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29 days 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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29 days ago divasparkle

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.

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30 days ago Kim Richards Comparetto

I have this in the oven right now! I added cauliflower from my CSA and used yogurt b/c that's what was in the refrigerator. Smells sooo delicious and we can't wait to eat it!!

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29 days ago divasparkle

Hi Kim - I've done that too and it tastes great! Hope you enjoyed it!!

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2 months ago meredithhimelfarb

The flavor of this dish is great, but I'm still scratching my head over the execution. I cooked the ingredients, tightly covered in foil, for 375 for an hour per the instructions. When it was time to remove the foil, the chicken looked borderline raw. After 15 minutes, when the skin was supposed to be crispy, it was far from. I ended setting my timer for several 15 minute increments, and after nearly an hour of "Round 2," I gave up. (The skin had just started to brown, but wasn't crispy.) I re-read the recipe, did a double take at my oven temperature. I seemed to be following everything to spec. Was there a crucial step I overlooked? Did my oven suddenly quit on me? Did I buy the world's most stubborn chicken thighs? I really want to make this again, I just don't want to run back and forth to the oven every 15 minutes to do it. Any ideas?

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about 1 month ago divasparkle

Meredith, I am so sorry to hear that you had a problem with the temperature. Have you tried using an oven thermometer to see if it is heating up to temperature? I do a lot of baking and always use one just to be sure as they do need re-calibrating from time to time. You could try to turn up the temp to 400F and see if that helps. Compared to my mum's oven in Canada which is huge, mine is quite small so perhaps the oven size has something to do with it too? She always seems to roast at 400F. So sorry that I cannot offer any more advice on the problem.

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26 days ago meredithhimelfarb

I think your recipe forensics could be on target! (My oven is pretty big, actually.) I'll try 400 next time and see if that helps. Thanks!

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2 months ago ehrrin

Just made this, and the kitchen smells heavenly. The only substitution I made was yogurt for buttermilk. My sauce (marinade) broke while cooking. Do you think it was the yogurt? I ate a couple pieces of potato & chickpeas, and it tastes great, just not nearly pretty as yours.

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about 1 month ago divasparkle

It may have been the yoghurt that broke the sauce as it cannot take high temperatures without splitting. I have read somewhere that you could stir in a teaspoon of flour or cornstarch into yoghurt to stabilise it but it is not something that I have tried.

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3 months ago Mariana Buchman

Great recipe.instead of canned garbanzos I used freshly soaked and cooked ones. Also, I added paprika, garlic powder and a smidge more cumin and harissa. Overall, a lovely recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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about 1 month ago divasparkle

So glad you enjoyed it and tailored the spicing to your palate too. I must admit to being quite lazy/disorganised when it comes to soaking pulses which is why I use the canned ones. Must try harder!

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4 months ago soozy

Do you think this would work with Japanese Sweet Potatoes instead of traditional white potatoes? We try and avoid white potatoes. Thanks!

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about 1 month ago divasparkle

Sorry of the late reply - I have not tried it with sweet potatoes but my feeling is that the sugars that seep out of the sweet potatoes would change the taste of the dish quite a lot. Having said that it is definitely worth trying - if you do, please come back and let me know how it went.

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6 months ago Josie Marsh

This was great. The only slight change I will make next time is to use my largest roasting pan (the one I usually use for big turkeys) so that everything gets just a tad crisper.

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about 1 month ago divasparkle

Thanks so much for the comment Josie, using a larger roasting dish will make everything a little crisper.

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7 months ago CaribLady

I was really excited after reading the reviews on trying out this chicken recipe. This was a huge disappoint. Despite the marinade this dish had no flavor. It tasted like I brought home the chicken from the market and placed it in the oven. I followed the recipe exactly and for the life of me, I cannot understand how people found this dish to be so yummy. Maybe because I am of caribbean heritage and require our meals to have substantial flavor. Huge waste of my time and money.

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7 months ago divasparkle

Oh, I am so sorry that this didn't work out for you. I know that when I make something for the first time, I like to taste as I go along and adjust to my palate. I hope that you give this a go again and bump up the spicing in the marinade until it is to your taste - thanks for weighing in with your comments.

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7 months ago Gastronomix

This looks so yummy, I've got to schedule it in for this week. Quick question- we don't use/like mayo, is there a valid sub for it?

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7 months ago rusti chalmers

At our house we prefer Miracle Whip. You may be able to substitute some mayo ingredients for homemade mayo. However, when I've used mayo to cook chicken (only a couple of times), I've not been able to taste the mayo...

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8 months ago pqmommy

This really is extraordinary! The marinade is odd and doesn't seem like nearly enough to cover and yet it does. And the end product is terrific! Thanks!

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8 months ago divasparkle

Pleasure - I am so glad that you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for your feedback - it is much appreciated. If you have a minute, I would be so grateful if you would leave a comment on my blog - http://selmastable.wordpress...

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8 months ago pqmommy

Done. Thanks again!

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7 months ago divasparkle

Thank you so much!!

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8 months ago rusti chalmers

In Canada, powdered buttermilk is commonly carried in the bulk section of most grocery stores as well as packaged on the shelf. I have a B&B so make a lot of fresh bread. I prefer fresh buttermilk, but always have powdered on hand for drop in guests.

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8 months ago divasparkle

I have yet to see that here in London but we have a lot of Polish grocery stores where I live and they all carry it in 1L packs which works out really well for me!

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8 months ago Sara

What kind of potatoes did you use?

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8 months ago divasparkle

I'm in the UK and we have different varieties and names so if I tell you to use floury potatoes - the kind you would use to make roast potatoes - would that help at all?

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8 months ago Sara

Yes thanks!

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8 months ago divasparkle

Glad to help - have you tried it yet and if so what did you think?

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8 months ago Myra Model

Loved the flavor (even w out the harissa paste which I didn't have time to pick up) but left it in the oven too long. I have a very old oven, waited until it was super crispy but then it came out way too dry, and didn't love the dark meat(: Next time will try it with breasts instead, and the paste. Hopefully I will better luck!

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8 months ago divasparkle

Oh dear - so sorry to hear that. I cannot function without a kitchen timer just because I have no sense of time and can get distracted and loose track soooo easily. I have not tried it with breast meat but a few people on here have done so successfully. You should probably add them about 15 mins after everything else. Glad you like the flavour though :)