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CATALAN CHICKPEAS WITH FENNEL AND CHICKEN

Experience the flavours of Catalunya with this Catalan Chickpea recipe, featuring juicy chicken, aromatic fennel, and a delightful almond picada. A hearty and wholesome dish that's easy to prepare and bursting with Mediterranean goodness.
READY IN

14h

COOKING TIME

2h

PREP TIME

12h

SERVES

Serves 4-6

ingredients

  • 250g Epic Lechoso chickpeas
IN STOCK
  • 10g bicarbonate of soda
  • 120ml + 1 tbsp olive oil
IN STOCK
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (260g net weight)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 5 ripe medium tomatoes, grated (or 5 Brindisa Caprichos de paladar, finely chopped)
  • 2 bulbs of fennel, tops and bases trimmed, tough leaves removed, each cut into 6 wedges (2cm at the base) (600g gross/450 net weight) – reserve any fronds for garnish
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 50g blanched almonds, chopped (+ 25g blanched toasted almonds, roughly chopped, to garnish) *
  • 10 threads of saffron, soaked in 50ml boiling water
IN STOCK
  • 20g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 lemons, zested, peeled and segmented, flesh roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
Method: 
  1. Place the chickpeas and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl and cover with plenty of water. Soak overnight (for at least 12 hours).
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and place into a large saucepan.
  3. Cover well with cold water, bringing to a boil and skimming off any scum that forms. Cover, lower the heat and cook gently for 45-60 minutes until tender and creamy.
  4. Drain the cooked chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid and keeping to one side.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, shallow, ovenproof casserole dish on a medium heat. Add the onions and cook very gently for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and 1 tsp salt. Stir, and cook for more 10 minutes until the onions and garlic are soft and lightly golden.
  7. Add the tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes.
  8. Then add the cooked chickpeas with about 200ml of the cooking water. Cook for 10 minutes to allow the flavours to blend.
  9. With a pestle and mortar, pound the blanched almonds with saffron (reserve the soaking water) until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  10. Add the soaking water from the saffron to the almond mixture, then add this mixture to the pan of chickpeas and sauce. Add half of the lemon zest. Stir through, taste and season with more salt, if needed, and some black pepper.
  11. Heat the oven to 190/170 fan.
  12. In a large, non-stick sauté pan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil on a medium-high heat and fry the fennel wedges for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  13. Remove to a plate, add the chicken thighs to the pan, skin side down. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until golden brown. Turn and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  14. Arrange the fennel wedges and chicken skin side up on the chickpeas. Cover, and cook in the oven for 20 minutes. After this time, cook for a further 20-25 minutes with the lid removed until the chicken is golden brown.
  15. Make the salsa by combining the remaining lemon zest, chopped lemon flesh and parsley in a bowl. Set aside.
  16. Remove from the oven, allow to settle for 5-10 minutes, then top with the salsa, a scattering of toasted almonds, and any fennel fronds.

ingredients

  • 250g Epic Lechoso chickpeas
(each)
IN STOCK
  • 10g bicarbonate of soda
  • 120ml + 1 tbsp olive oil
IN STOCK
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (260g net weight)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • 5 ripe medium tomatoes, grated (or 5 Brindisa Caprichos de paladar, finely chopped)
  • 2 bulbs of fennel, tops and bases trimmed, tough leaves removed, each cut into 6 wedges (2cm at the base) (600g gross/450 net weight) – reserve any fronds for garnish
  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 50g blanched almonds, chopped (+ 25g blanched toasted almonds, roughly chopped, to garnish) *
  • 10 threads of saffron, soaked in 50ml boiling water
IN STOCK
  • 20g flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 lemons, zested, peeled and segmented, flesh roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
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