Recipe: Smoky Fried Chickpeas

Smoky Fried Chickpeas by Aliwaks

"If you were to put out a bowl of these crunchy, smoky, spicy little nuggets at a cocktail party, it's likely they'd be gone in under five minutes. Aliwaks has taken an already brilliant idea (fried chickpeas with smoked paprika) and run with it. You also fry strips of lemon zest, fresh thyme leaves and later thinly sliced garlic to mix with the chickpeas, paprika and salt. This leads to an array of crispy little bursts of flavor, each more fragrant than the last. Do be careful while frying (use a splatter screen if you have one), and make sure the chickpeas are as dry as you can get them. It's worth a little experimenting to find a brand of chickpeas that spit less while frying but still stay tender in the middle. - A&M"

"I was making a sort of Spanish/Moroccan Moorish sort of dinner for friends one night, and was looking for something small and spicy and crunchy to serve with drinks I thought I had almonds, but had run out but I did have a can of chickpeas..and inspiration struck."

Serves enough for 4

2 large cans chickpeas
1 cup Olive Oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest, strips
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 coarse salt to taste
4 pieces garlic, sliced

1. Drain Chickpeas and set on paper towels over a colander to dry thoroughly (can be done 1 day in advance).
2. Heat oil in large pan (preferably cast iron) to 355 or until oil makes bubbles around 1 chickpea.
3. Add lemon zest, thyme sprig, chickpeas in batches so pan doesn't crowd fry about 5 minutes until crunchy color & changes.
4. Remove from oil, drain well over colander/sieve, add garlic, fry till golden.
5. Toss with smoked paprika & salt, add more if necessary.

Serve warm.


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