One-pan crispy chicken and chickpeas and more recipes to try this week The Denver Post

By Emily Weinstein, The New York Times

Last weekend, I made recipes from Naz Deravian’s Persian cookbook, “Bottom of the Pot,” which called for piles of emerald-green herbs and left me with extras in my fridge. I’ve been using them up by adding glorious fistfuls of chopped herbs to recipes that otherwise call for a quarter-cup here, a garnish there. Below, you’ll find five dinners that lend themselves particularly well to adding leafy herbs like parsley, cilantro, mint and dill.

1. One-Pan Crispy Chicken and Chickpeas

This speedy, no-fuss meal comes together in one pan with a minimal ingredient list — and barely requires any chopping. The chicken skin crisps as it roasts and the chickpeas, garlic and spinach soak up any juices at the bottom of the pan. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice at the end brightens up the whole dish. Make sure to stir the chickpeas and spinach together gently at the end to avoid breaking up the chickpeas too much. For added flavor, you could dust the chicken with smoked paprika, ground turmeric or your favorite spice blend before cooking. Serve this dish with yogurt and hot sauce on the side, and flatbread, if you like.

By Yossy Arefi

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 45 minutes


  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 1 3/4 pounds)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans of chickpeas, rinsed
  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 (packed) cups or 1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach
  • 1 large lemon, halved
  • Yogurt and hot sauce (both optional), for serving


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the center.

2. Pat the chicken dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Put the chicken thighs in the skillet, skin-side down, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until light golden brown. Flip and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate.

3. Add the chickpeas and garlic to the skillet and stir to coat in the oil and juices. If the pan seems at all dry, drizzle in a bit of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Place the chicken on top of the chickpeas, skin side up, in an even layer and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until the chicken is deeply golden and cooked through.

5. Remove the chicken to a clean plate, put the pan back on the stovetop over medium heat and add the spinach to the chickpeas in the pan, one handful at a time, stirring it until just wilted. Add the chicken back to the pan and squeeze a lemon half over the top; cut the remaining lemon half into 4 wedges. Serve the chicken, chickpeas and spinach with the lemon wedges on the side, and yogurt and hot sauce for serving, if you like.

2. Salmon With Garlic Butter and Tomato Pasta

In less than half an hour of swift multitasking, you’ll be feasting on crisp-skinned salmon and delicate noodles dotted with caramelized tomatoes and fresh basil. Start by broiling salmon, skin side up, alongside little tomatoes. Without flipping or stinking up the house, the salmon skin sears and protects the tender flesh from overcooking while the tomatoes grow heavy with juices and char in spots. Meanwhile, cook angel hair pasta on the stovetop with garlic and butter. When both elements are done, stir the tomatoes into the pasta: They’re like water balloons of sweetness and tang among the glossy, unapologetically garlicky noodles.

By Ali Slagle

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 20 minutes


  • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets, patted dry
  • 1 pint cherry or other small tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
  • 3 basil sprigs, plus 1/2 cup torn leaves
  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta


1. Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and heat the broiler to high. On a foil-lined sheet pan, coat the salmon and tomatoes with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the salmon skin side up. Broil until the tomatoes are blistered and the salmon’s skin is crisp and flesh flakes easily with a fork, 6 to 10 minutes. Halfway through broiling, check on the sheet pan: If the tomatoes are burning, give them a stir. If the salmon skin is burning — congrats, you have a powerful broiler! — move the rack to the center of the oven and keep cooking.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add 3 cups water, 1 1/2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal salt, the basil sprigs and a generous sprinkling of black pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the pasta, breaking the noodles in half if they don’t fit in the skillet. Cook over medium-high, tossing often with tongs or a fork, until the pasta is al dente, 5 to 8 minutes. It’s OK if the water isn’t completely absorbed, but if the skillet looks dry, without any liquid on the bottom of the skillet, add a few tablespoons of water. If the pasta is done before the salmon, remove from heat and cover to keep warm.

3. When the salmon and tomatoes are out of the oven, transfer the salmon to plates, skin side up, to rest. Remove the basil sprigs from the pasta, then add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pasta and toss until melted and glossing the noodles. Add the tomatoes, any juices from the sheet pan and the basil leaves to the pasta and stir just once to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the salmon alongside the noodles.

3. Coconut-Caramel Braised Tofu

In this quick vegan meal, versatile tofu takes on a flavorful coconut-caramel glaze with minimal effort. It’s simmered in a fragrant braising liquid of rich coconut milk, savory miso and aromatic ginger and garlic until the liquid reduces into a rich, sweet caramel sauce. Lightly charred green beans add subtle smoky notes, but broccoli or cauliflower florets would also work great. A final shower of fresh scallions and tart lime juice balances and brightens the sweet sauce; other herbs like basil or cilantro would also light up the dish in a lovely way. Leftovers can be reheated and tossed with noodles for lunch the next day.

By Kay Chun

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 20 minutes


  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as safflower or canola
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut crosswise into thirds
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) package firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 small shallot, minced (1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon peeled minced ginger (from one 1-inch piece)
  • 1 cup unsweetened full-fat coconut milk, stirred
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, plus wedges for serving
  • Steamed rice and hot sauce, for serving


1. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high. Add green beans, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer green beans to a plate.

2. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the tofu to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Push tofu to one side of the skillet and reduce heat to medium. To the empty side, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the shallot, garlic and ginger; stir until well combined and coated in the oil, then mix into the tofu until well incorporated.

3. Add coconut milk, soy sauce, miso and sugar and bring to a simmer, mashing the miso until it dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces and resembles caramel, about 5 minutes. Stir in reserved green beans, 1/4 cup scallions and 1 tablespoon lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

4. Divide braised tofu and green beans over rice. Garnish with more scallions and serve with lime wedges.

4. Baked Chicken and Feta Meatballs

Filled with feta, yogurt and oats to keep the chicken tender and flavorful, these meatballs lean Mediterranean, but they’re subtle enough to play well with others. Though they anchor any meal as the main character, they welcome a wide range of supporting cast members. You could roast broccoli, asparagus or other vegetables with a similar cooking time in another sheet pan in the oven, or add heartier vegetables like delicata squash to the oven first, since they take a bit longer to cook. Serving the meatballs in a bowl of leftover tomato sauce or your favorite marinara would be a winning combination, too. Use them to add heft to salad, or (gently) drop them into a brothy soup just until warmed.

By Yasmin Fahr

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 3/4 cup finely crumbled feta
  • 1/4 packed cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon plain thick yogurt (such as labneh) or Greek or Icelandic yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey (preferably dark meat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved


1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup feta with half the chopped mint, plus the oats, yogurt, oregano, red-pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt, breaking up any lingering feta chunks with your hands. Add the chicken, gently combining until it’s lightly speckled with green dots.

2. Drizzle the oil on a sheet pan and use your hands to spread it around. Use your oiled palms to shape the chicken into 1- to 1 1/4-inch loosely firm but not compact balls; lightly roll them in the oil on the sheet pan when shaping to coat them and prevent them from sticking. You should have 18 to 20 meatballs. Once the meatballs have all been rolled out, spread them out evenly on the sheet pan.

3. Cook meatballs until the bottoms are browned and the centers are no longer pink, 15 to 18 minutes.

4. Squeeze half of the lemon over the pan, then use a wooden spoon to move the meatballs around, turning the browned side up, and scraping up any browned bits on the pan. Transfer to a bowl or leave in the pan and top with the remaining feta and mint. Cut the remaining lemon half into quarters and serve at the table for squeezing on top.

5. Baghali Ghatogh (Fava Bean Stew)

A popular and beloved stew from northern Iran, baghali ghatogh is an ambassador of early spring produce. Earthy, bright-green fava beans, fragrant dill and an assertive amount of garlic are combined with eggs for a comforting meal. Although shelling and peeling fresh favas is a rite of passage (see tip), it’s a time-consuming task, given the amount needed here (but if you have the time, go for it!). Frozen fava beans are a worthy substitute, but if they aren’t available, you can use canned butter beans or frozen lima beans. Just enough eggs are used to give the stew some heft, but they shouldn’t overwhelm the vibrant flavors of this verdant stew. The eggs can be incorporated two ways: cracked in and poached, or stirred in to break apart. Baghali ghatogh is typically served over rice with a side of smoked fish and pickled garlic, or with bread.

By Naz Deravian

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Total time: 40 minutes


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 5 to 10 large garlic cloves (depending on preference), finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 14 ounces double-peeled frozen fava beans, thawed (see tip), or 2 (15-ounce) cans butter beans, lima beans or cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 2 large bunches fresh dill (about 8.5 ounces), stems trimmed, finely chopped, or 1/4 cup dried dill
  • Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) and black pepper
  • 3 to 4 large eggs


1. Add the oil and garlic to a medium pot, then set it over medium-low heat. Cook the garlic, stirring often, until fragrant and cooked, taking care not to burn it, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the turmeric, stir and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans, dill, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir gently so the beans don’t break, and cook for about 3 minutes, just so the flavors meld and no longer taste raw.

2. Increase the heat to medium-high, add enough water to cover the beans, about 2 cups (or more as needed, if you’re using cannellini beans, which absorb more liquid), and bring to a gentle boil. Partially cover with the lid barely ajar, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, but still maintain their shape (no mushy beans please), and the flavors have come to life, about 12 minutes.

3. Taste the beans and liquid for salt and pepper, and adjust as needed. The stew should be juicy enough to serve over rice, but if it seems too liquidy, remove the lid and cook a little longer to reduce it, keeping in mind that the eggs will also thicken it up. Add a little more water if the stew is too thick.

4. Increase the heat to medium and add the eggs one at a time. If poaching whole eggs, use 4 eggs and make individual wells in the stew before adding each egg. Cook, uncovered, until the whites set and the yolk is cooked to desired consistency, 3 to 5 minutes. (Alternately, you can stir the eggs in: Add 3 eggs, then run a spoon through each egg to break them apart and cook, slightly covered, until the eggs set, about 3 to 5 minutes.) Taste, add more water if the stew is too thick, adjust seasoning and serve.

TIPS: Frozen double peeled fava beans can be found at Iranian and Middle Eastern markets, and online. If using frozen lima beans, use the same amount. If using fresh favas: Use 3 pounds fresh fava beans in their pods. Remove the favas from their pod (the first thick layer) as you would to shell fresh green peas. Once podded, bring a small pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath. Place the podded beans in the boiling water for a quick minute or two, then drain and dunk in the ice bath. Drain and easily pop the skin off by giving the bean a squeeze.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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