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Author Notes: I was making a sort of Spanish/Moroccan Moorish sort of dinner for friends one night, and was looking for something small and spicy and crunchy to serve with drinks. I thought I had almonds, but had run out, oh no! But I did have a can of chickpeas...
Featured In: The Smoky, Snackable Chickpeas Every Happy Hour Needs —Aliwaks
Food52 Review: If you were to put out a bowl of these crunchy, smoky, spicy little nuggets at a cocktail party, it's likely they'd be gone in under five minutes. Aliwaks has taken an already brilliant idea (fried chickpeas with smoked paprika) and run with it. You also fry strips of lemon zest, fresh thyme leaves and later thinly sliced garlic to mix with the chickpeas, paprika and salt. This leads to an array of crispy little bursts of flavor, each more fragrant than the last. Do be careful while frying (use a splatter screen if you have one), and make sure the chickpeas are as dry as you can get them. It's worth a little experimenting to find a brand of chickpeas that spit less while frying but still stay tender in the middle. - A&M —The Editors
Serves enough for 4
- 2 large (16-ounce) cans chickpeas
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, in strips
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 coarse salt to taste
- Drain chickpeas and set on paper towels over a colander to dry throughly (can be done 1 day in advance).
- Heat oil in large pan (preferably cast iron) to 355° F, or until oil makes bubbles around 1 chickpea.
- Add lemon zest, a sprig of thyme, and chickpeas in batches, so the pan doesn't crowd (set aside chickpeas on a plate as necessary), and fry for about 5 minutes, until crunchy and the color changes.
- Remove chickpeas from the oil and/or plate and drain well over a colander/sieve. Set aside in a bowl, for mixing. Add garlic to the pan and fry until golden. Add garlic to the chickpeas.
- Toss it all with smoked paprika and salt, add more if necessary. Serve warm.
- Your Best Recipe with Paprika Contest Winner!