Chicken, like turkey, in generally tasteless, although it is not a wholly lost cause. But in general, to raise chicken up to the tier of deliciousness requires frying, roasting, basting, and treating with the most absolute care and time. Unlike the by far superior lamb, beef, pork and duck—the only poultry that should have any sense of pride—chicken require treatment. And treatment takes time, or at least in most cases.
So now, of course, after a much more lengthy discussion on all the negative aspects of chicken, I would like to present a most delicious, succulent, spicy, and flavorful chicken. Roasted with smoked paprika, garlic, garbanzo beans and cherry tomatoes, these chicken legs are an example of meat—not just paltry poultry—at its best. And it’s easy, so very, very to make. Rub, roast, eat. You won’t even know it’s chicken.
*The original recipe called for 4 bone-in chicken breasts. Chicken breasts, unlike their better half the chicken thigh and leg, cannot be saved. No matter how hard you try.
Roast Chicken Legs with Garbanzo Beans, Tomatoes, and Paprika
Loosely adapted from epicurious.com
½ cup good quality olive oil
8 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 cup Greek yogurt
4 chicken breast legs with bones
24 oz. canned garbanzo beans, drained
12 oz. container cherry tomatoes
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first five ingredients in a large metal bowl. Take 2 tablespoons of the smoked paprika mixture and set aside in a small bowl. Rub each of the chicken legs generously with the smoked paprika mixture—saving at least half however—and place in a large, shallow baking pan. Roast the chicken legs for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the garbanzo beans and cherry tomatoes in the remaining smoked paprika mixture.
2. Raise the oven temperature after the 30 minutes to 450 degrees. Take the roasted chicken and drain some of the fat out of the pan. Add the tomatoes and garbanzo beans to the chicken legs and roast for an addition 20 minutes. Let rest, at room temperature, for 5-10 minutes before serving. Stir the reserved smoked paprika mixture into the Greek yogurt and use as a sauce. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.