The idea for this recipe started to take shape as Jenny and I were discussing things to do for Sesame Week. She mentioned tahini, which I had actually kind of forgotten (I had sesame seeds and sesame oil on my mind), and immediately I thought of doing something with tahini and chicken. This recipe is what I came up with, and I was really happy with it. If you’re looking for something to break you out of the “same old thing” rut that we all tend to get into with chicken, then this is it…make it tonight!
TAHINI ROAST CHICKEN WITH CHICKPEAS, LEMON, AND OLIVES
6 bone-in, skin-on, chicken thighs
½ cup tahini
Juice of ½ lemon
Handful of fresh, chopped parsley
1 head of garlic, 3 cloves peeled and minced (leave the peel on the rest and simply separate the cloves)
Salt and pepper to taste
Kosher salt to taste
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small red onion, quartered and cut into chunks
1 lemon, quartered and thinly sliced
1/3-1/2 cup of pitted and halved Kalamata olives
In a small bowl, mix the tahini, juice of half a lemon, parsley, the 3 minced cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. Separate the skin from the meat on the chicken (leaving the skin attached) and rub the tahini paste underneath the skin on all of the thighs. Put the chicken pieces on a large plate and sprinkle all over with kosher salt, then set them in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 2-3 hours; this will help your chicken skin get extra crispy.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a roasting pan, combine the chickpeas, red onion, sliced lemon, remaining garlic cloves, and kalamata olives, and drizzle all over with olive oil, making sure the garlic cloves are well coated. Arrange the chicken pieces on top and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until the chicken juices run clear when pierced with a fork (or you can rely on a meat thermometer as I do).
Serve the chicken on top of the chickpea mixture, with pan juices spooned over the top, and if desired, warm pita bread.
NOTE: Next time I make this, I will double the amount of chickpeas, garlic, onion, and olives that I used. I went ahead and wrote the recipe as I made it, though, since it's really a matter of personal preference. Feel free to substitute white onion or green olives if that’s what you have or prefer.
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg