Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

My favorite store-bought snack is Snyder’s Jalapeño Pretzel Pieces. They’re addictive, especially when you’re drinking beer. Imagine hand to bag to mouth over and over and you’ll get the picture.

As much as I love my jalapeño pretzels, I rather snack on something a bit healthier and homemade. That’s why I’m over the top excited to have finally made this recipe. I remember long ago seeing Michael Chiarello cooking fried chickpeas on a PBS cooking show. At the time I thought, huh, that’s easy enough and looks really tasty, but I never made them until this weekend while watching the NHL All-Star red carpet show that preceded the Skills Competition.

My house is always Canes crazy but last weekend Raleigh hosted the All-Star game so the whole area was hockey crazy. Downtown streets turned into a pedestrian-only zone with bands, beer garden, artisan tent, food vendors and all kinds of other activities. The highlight for us was the free and fantastic Three Doors Down show in the downtown amphitheater.

If you’re looking for a quick easy and highly flavored snack for the Super Bowl this weekend, this is the answer. I like things a bit spicy, so decrease the cayenne pepper if you’re not a chile head. Our Super Bowl spread will include these chickpeas plus a sinfully delicious-looking Gooey Cheeseburger Dip from Serious Eats. If you’re still looking for recipe ideas, check out this list from the Providence Journal of Super Bowl party recipes from newspaper food sections across the country.

chickpeas garbanzo appetizer snack recipe

Smoky Fried Chickpeas

You’ll need a colander, paper towels, large skillet – a deep one will help prevent splattering, slotted spoon and serving bowl.

  • 1 large can chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 lemons, zested into strips – I don’t think you can overdo the lemon because it will be countered by the heat
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme, divided
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika – I used hot smoked paprika, but I’m sure sweet would be fine too
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

Drain chickpeas and place on a paper towel-lined colander to dry. This can be done well in advance; refrigerate the peas in a covered container until you’re ready to use them.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in large pan. Add garlic slices and sauté until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

Add ½ cup olive oil to the pan and heat until the oil bubbles up around a test chickpea. In batches, add lemon zest, thyme and chickpeas. I did mine in two batches. Fry each batch about 5 minutes, until chickpeas are crispy and brown. Remove chickpeas with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander lined with paper towels.

In a bowl toss chickpeas with the garlic, smoked paprika, salt and cayenne pepper, adding more spices or salt, if desired. Serve warm.

Adapted from: Food 52, Smoky Fried Chickpeas

4 thoughts on “Smoky Spicy Fried Chickpeas

  1. Deirdre, these sound yummy. Do you think it could work baking instead to cut some of the fat content?

    1. deirdrereid says:

      According to this recipe on Steamy Kitchen, it looks like you can, but you still have to toss them with olive oil, just not as much olive oil. Here’s another method from The Kitchn, still using oil but at a different step in the recipe. Lots of options!

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