Chicken Chickpea Stew

Baby, it’s cold outside! It’s been a chilly couple of weeks by Southern California standards. Whenever the weather gets like this, I start thinking about stews, roasts, gratins and slow cooked meals… warm, cozy dishes that take the edge off the frost. This stew is a concoction I came up with last week, and I must say it is deeeeelish. I used skin-on, bone in dark meat chicken thighs for extra flavor. I sauteed the thighs in olive oil for a few minutes, which produced a little schmaltz at the bottom of the pan. Instead of draining the fat, I used it to saute the onion, carrots and garlic to give the stew some extra savory flavor. When I added the chicken back to the stew, I left it on the bone with skin. As the stew simmered, it was infused with even more chicken flavor. I added smoked paprika to give it a slightly smoky vibe. You can use regular paprika as a sub, if you’re having trouble finding the smoked variety. The roasted bell pepper adds a touch of sweetness to the mix. At the end of cooking I deboned the chicken and shredded it, then added it back to the stew. A final simmer reduced the sauce, thickening the stew and enhancing the flavor of the spices.

The result? Chicken Chickpea Stew! It’s kind of similar to a savory chicken tagine, with a unique mouth-watering spice combo that I really enjoyed. The secret is the schmaltz… that little bit of chicken fat produced when you first saute the chicken produces a ton of flavor. Some people don’t use schmaltz and will be tempted to drain it off to lower the fat content of the dish. Please don’t fear the schmaltz! It’s not so bad for you. In fact, some might argue it’s actually good for you. A few of my readers have mentioned that they’re actually trying to incorporate MORE schmaltz into their diet for health reasons! How do you feel about schmaltz?

This easy, healthy one pot meal will definitely become a part of our regular dinner rotation. Serve it over cooked quinoa, couscous or brown rice for a hearty winter meal. To learn how to roast a bell pepper, click here.

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Chicken Chickpea Stew


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup chicken broth (low sodium okay), or more if needed
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes (or 1 3/4 cups ripe diced tomatoes)
  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, skinned and sliced - learn to roast a bell pepper here
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of cayenne (or more to taste)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro (or substitute flat leaf parsley), divided
  • Salt and pepper

You will also need

  • a sauté pan
Total Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes
Servings: 4
Kosher Key: Meat
  • Sprinkle chicken thighs lightly with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan with high walls over medium heat till hot. Place the chicken thighs into the hot oil, skin side down, and turn heat to medium high. Brown the thighs for about 10 minutes, flipping once halfway through, till thighs are browned on both sides and skin is golden and crisp. Remove the thighs from pan. Do not drain the fat or juices from the pan.
  • Add the minced onion to the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes till softened.
  • Add the carrots and cook them for 5 more minutes till the onion starts to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more till fragrant, stirring and scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan as the mixture cooks.
  • Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, roasted bell pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and 3 tbsp of the chopped cilantro or parsley. Careful with the cayenne when adding to taste, it’s extremely spicy. I liked to add ¼ tsp of cayenne, which gives the stew a nice spicy kick.
  • Stir the mixture and bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste (I usually add about ½ tsp of salt or less depending on how salty my chicken broth is). Reduce heat to a simmer. Put chicken thighs back in the sauté pan and ladle sauce over them. Cover the pot, vented on one side, and let the stew simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Uncover the pot. Continue to simmer for 15 more minutes till the liquid reduces and the sauce starts to thicken.
  • Remove cooked chicken thighs from the sauce. Remove the skin and discard. Cut meat from the bones in small shreds. Discard bones and any excess fat.
  • Return the chicken shreds to the sauté pan and stir to combine. Simmer till heated through, or until the sauce is thickened to desired consistency. If the stew seems too dry, add a little chicken broth to rehydrate.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp chopped cilantro. Serve Chicken Chickpea Stew over cooked quinoa, couscous or brown rice.

Other Great Recipe Ideas

Simply Recipes: Turkey Stew with Root Vegetables

Leite’s Culinaria: Root Vegetable Stew with Cumin, Coriander and Millet

Kalyn’s Kitchen: Vegetarian Mushroom Stew with Red Bell Pepper, Onion and Paprika

Vanilla Garlic: Moroccan-ish Chicken Stew with Dates and Olives

Cookin’ Canuck: Crockpot Chickpea Stew with Balsamic Caramelized Onions

Comments (48)Post a Comment

  1. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Reminds me of a similar Spanish dish with potatoes.The secret is keeping bones and skin on. Love your idea of browning skin so it is crisp yum! yum! Do you have a cook book with your fantastic recipes?

    1. Hi Victoria, in that case I would use 6 chicken legs… or, if you don’t like dark meat, 2-3 breasts. I prefer the dark meat because it cooks up more moist. Just take care if you use legs, there are more bones to deal with. Enjoy!

    1. Yay! Thanks for reporting back Lucinda. I have officially added it to our regular meal rotation. Love it when a dish is easy, healthy and delish.

  2. Just got all the ingredients. Will be making it tomorrow! My family does not like quinoa much, so I will, probably, replace it with either buckwheat or rice

  3. that sounds really good actually. I wonder how a bit of cinnamon added to it would be? Or maybe some green olives. (I love to improvise!) 😉

  4. I made this for a huge shabbat dinner of friends and family of over 30 people and it was a huge hit! I can’t wait to make it again. It’s an awesome dish to make over the weekend and eat through out the week.

    I love love loved it!

  5. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I cooked this dish this weekend and really like the way it came out. I did not have the smoked paprika so I used regular paprika and added an extra 1/2 a tsp of Chipotle pepper for the smoky feel. Came out great. It is very similar in taste and feel to a north African dish recipe that I make that uses cinnamon along with the cumin.

    1. So great to hear, Alice! :) Let me know how you like it. I hope more people try this recipe, it’s so healthy and satisfying… and really very easy!

  6. I made your Chicken Chickpea Stew tonight for was fabulous ..all of your recipes are super good and when I make them for others, they rave!! Thanks Tori…you are helping me becoming a good cook:))))

  7. Not only does the recipe sound good, but your cooking instructions along with your fine photos has turned me into a follower. I will be trying some of your Passover recipes!

  8. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    This is an excellent recipe. I added two additional pieces of chicken. One for the stew, the other for my 2 1/2 year old grandson Riley-Lavi to nosh on while preparing the rest of the meal. He loved it. Next time I’m going to make a special batch of just chicken for a week of toddler snacking. I love your site and when I move back to the states I look forward to checking out all your wonderful products for sale. Bye bye from Copenhagen, Denmark

    1. It really makes me happy knowing that my recipes are being made and enjoyed all over the world. Thank you so much for writing Gloria!

  9. I want to make this tomorrow night!

    Will chicken breasts be a mistake? That’s what I have in the fridge right now.

    Also, the picture makes it look like there is corn in this, but it’s not listed as an ingredient. Did you add corn?

    1. Are they bone in, skin on? If yes, then go for it as written– it won’t be as tasty as dark meat, but it will work. If they’re boneless skinless, you will lose the flavor of the schmaltz and the bones, which adds so much to the dish. That said, you can use boneless skinless, with the following modifications– don’t saute them first, or they’ll get overcooked. Instead, use olive oil to saute the onion and veggies. Assemble the stew, simmer, then add the boneless skinless breasts to the stew/sauce about 20 minutes before the end of cooking. Cover them with sauce and simmer till they’re cooked through and the stew is reduce and thickened, then shred the meat.

  10. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Discovered your website last month and have since tried a few recipes. For this one I made it a little more spicy by adding a whole spicy pepper and sambal. I also omitted the carrots, and it still tasted very good. It’s not always easy cooking in a dorm, with a hotplate and barely enough counter space to fit a slow cooker on, but the quantity and the deliciousness of this recipe makes it worth the effort. No ramen for me! Thanks for the delicious recipe :)

    1. So proud of you for stepping outside the Ramen box! I’ve been there, it’s not easy. College budgets and time constraints make home cooking and healthy eating difficult. Kudos to you! So happy you liked the stew. :)

  11. Oh my goodness. Made this today and it is sooooooo good! Thank you so much for sharing with me, all the way in Australia :)

  12. I made this earlier this week, and wow! I was venturing outside my box a bit, having never cooked with smoked paprika or turmeric before or even roasted a pepper (I know), and I’m so glad I did.

    I wanted to toss out one serving suggestion–I served ours over shredded cauliflower “rice”, and it was the perfect complement. So glad a friend linked me here–I will definitely be back for more.

  13. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I’m not much of a cook, and because I don’t have an oven I’m always on the lookout for dishes I can cook on the stove top or in the microwave instead. Still, I tried this recipe, substituting chicken breasts for thighs, paprika for smoked paprika, and a pinch of pili pili for cayenne. I also used bulghar wheat instead of quinoa, couscous, or brown rice. What a result! It was absolutely delicious and definitely a recipe to keep. I’m looking forward to more from you, thanks.

  14. This looks delicious, I’m going to make it for my forthcoming ski trip. Only one question – do you use hot or sweet smoked paprika?

  15. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I tried this recipe yesterday and it came out great. I had all the ingredients on hand when I came across this recipe. I used skin on, bone in chicken breast but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. The result was perfectly juicy meat in a sauce with compex flavor that my toddler and my husband loved. The chickpeas and carrots were perfect for the little toothless one (my toddler, not my husband). Thank you for this recipe, its a keeper!

    1. So happy to read this Zhanna. I have a few friends with toddlers who really enjoy this dish too, I am starting to think it is “toddler friendly” and a great way to introduce them to some new spices/flavors!

  16. This recipe looks perfect for this Shabbat. I think this may become part of my repertoire! Thanks for all your great recipes. I love reading them in addition to making so many.

  17. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe a couple of times now, and my family loves it. I found it goes great with a greek yoghurt dipping sauce, which I added a little bit of garlic to. Helps combat the spicy kick.

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