Chicken with Chickpeas

Some people collect stamps. We collect cookbooks. The cookbook doesn’t have to be popular. It doesn’t have to have a celebrity chef attached. It just has to be interesting. I like the cookbooks that come with stories attached to each food. I rarely cook straight from a recipe anymore, but I like the cookbooks for inspiration, and they keep me company in the kitchen.

Several years ago, while on a visit to my aunt, I came across her well leafed copy of Claudia Roden’s cookbook “The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey From Samarkand to New York.” Paging through the recipes that span the world…I knew I had to have this coobook. We finally found the cookbook reasonably priced at a Half Priced Books and quickly got to work deciding what to cook first.  To be honest, I have only made maybe three recipes from this cookbook, but cookbooks to me are more for inspiration rather than cooking straight from them.

On a whim…we randomly opened to a sephardi section of the book – and blindly pointed to a recipe. In a “pick a card any card” fashion, our finger landed on the Chicken with Chickpeas recipe. The first time I made the recipe, I followed it to a T, and it was amazing. The next couple times, I slowly adapted it.  This past shabbat, I made this dish for Friday night dinner…and then and there, my husband and guests insisted I make it again during the week to be eaten and posted to the blog. I laughed…and I obliged.

Chicken with Chickpeas – adapted from “The Book of Jewish Food: An Odyssey
From Samarkand to New York.” by Claudia Roden


1.5 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. ginger paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 whole chicken, cut up
1.5 cups of cooked chickpeas
lemon zest (from a whole lemon)
juice of 1 lemon
10 cardamom pods, cracked

In a large dutch oven, saute the onion until soft. Add in the turmeric, garlic, and ginger and sautee until fragrant.

Add in the chicken pieces and brown the chicken.  Turn them over after about 8 minutes.

Add in the chickpeas and the cardamom.

Add in about 4 cups of water.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and cover.  Cook for about an hour.  Serve with rice.  Enjoy!

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