Alison Roman’s Chickpea Stew (#thestew)

Now this recipe is based on Alison Roman’s Chickpea stew. You know I love an Alison Roman recipe and during these times, where I have my basics or I don’t want to roam the grocery store, I can essentially go the produce aisle, go to the canned good and leave.

Ironically I made this recipe not because I saw the recipe online or while I was binge watching recipes on YouTube and thought “Ooooo I’m soooo doing that”, but instead I had most of the ingredients in my pantry. Chickpeas (which I am obsessed with), coconut milk, onion, ginger, stock, all of these are my staples. Coconut milk, which I normally think of all of the Puerto Rican sweets, the thought of making it in a spicy/savory dish, was mind blowing. After researching online, its a staple in Indian cooking and in multiple cultures. Again. Mind blown and ecstatic I’m opening my horizons with cooking especially since all of these recipes are common in Puerto Rican cuisine.

This recipe is completely amazing to riff off. I’ve made this at least 10 times, twice with this set of ingredients, the rest, riffing off it. Don’t have onions, add a combination of scallions and shallots. Love garlic, add more. Hate ginger, add less. Don’t want it super spicy, leave it out or add less and adjust as needed. The last time I made this recipe (this past week) I did not have any hearty greens. I had spinach, which was about to go bad and I knew it wouldn’t stand up to the stew. You can go without the greens, or double it. Again, flexibility is the name of the game with this recipe.

A delicious stew, that is not fussy is a great recipe in my brain and one that will be go-to in this house.

Alison Roman’s spicy chickpea stew

Hardware: a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot.
Cook time: 55 mins.
1/4 cup of Olive Oil, plus more for serving
6 garlic cloves (less if you wish), minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons of finely chopped ginger (about 2 inches)
Kosher Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 1/2 teaspoons of turmeric.
1 teaspoon of red-pepper flakes (less if you want it less spicy), plus more for serving
30 ounces of chickpeas (2 cans of 15 ounce chickpeas, drained); also called garbanzo beans
2 cans of coconut milk (if not use 1 can and use water/stock)
2 cups of chicken stock (you can swap with vegetable stock or water)
Green veggies that you want (Swiss chard, kale, etc) in pieces.
1 tablespoon of sofrito. (One cube if you use my recipe for it)
Yogurt or sour cream for serving (optional)
rice, pita, a baguette, for serving (optional)

Make it!
1. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil your Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. Add the garlic, onion, ginger, 1 1/2 teaspoons of turmeric, and sofrito. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onions are soft (and a little brown on the edges) – about 5 mins.

2. (Did you forget the turmeric, if you did add them now) Add chickpeas. Add 1 teaspoons of the red pepper flakes, season again with salt and pepper. Stir until everybody’s happy and coated with olive oil. You’re essentially frying them for 10 mins or until they start to break down, get brown and crispy. Reserve 1/2 to 1 cup of the chickpeas (garbanzo beans). These will top the stew so that you have some texture and contrast.

3. With all the love, presence, and gusto of a Puerto Rican mother listening to salsa on a Saturday morning while the kids clean the house (and slightly dancing to the music in your head), slightly crush the garbanzo beans with a potato masher, wooden spoon or spatula. The start from those crushed chickpeas will help thicken the stew. Add coconut milk and stock. Season once more with salt and pepper. Check thy seasonings. What does it need? More Salt, Pepper, Acid (wait for the acid at the end when you can give it a nice squeeze of lemon juice).

4. Bring to a simmer, scrape that fond (the bits that formed when you were doing step #2. Cook the stew (which looks like a soup right now) for 35 mins. This a great time to watch an episode on Netflix. Come around and stir occasionally. Taste a chickpea. Have a glass of wine. Text that friend to see if they’re doing ok. Cook the stew until it has reached your perfect stew-like consistency. For me that’s 35 mins. If you’re my mom, it would be around 40.

5. If you have any vegetables, this is when you add them. Let them soften. About 5 mins.

I would suggest not add any frozen veggies. You worked so hard to create all of those flavors, adding anything frozen would cause for the stew to dissipate that flavor. Trust and believe, I learned that the hard way.

6. Serve up in bowls, top with the toppings of your choosing (sour cream, squeeze of salt, drizzle of oil, more pepper) and enjoy!!! I’ve had this by itself, with baguettes, over rice, a tortilla (didn’t have bread). All of the above. Still delicious.

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