Monday was the most glorious spring day in Boulder: mid seventies; sunny with a few clouds, alleviating the direct heat of the sun; foliage greening out before your eyes. It seemed like the perfect day to lavish my grill with a little love, and I found the perfect recipe in the recent issue of Bon Appétit for the occasion.
It was a simple dish of grilled chicken thighs, accompanied by a salad of baby greens and lightly sautéed chickpeas. Straight out of the can, chickpeas can be a bit tinny, but when dressed up a bit, they can prove themselves to be a very worthwhile bean. In this understated dish, the drained chickpeas are sautéed in olive oil with fresh thyme and red chile flakes. The chicken thighs are seasoned simply, and grilled until just done.
The chickpeas are supposed to be tossed with arugula, but silly Whole Foods was out of arugula. In its place, I chose a baby greens mix, called “Super Greens,” which included arugula, and other bold, young greens. The mix is made by Organic Girl, and the name is coined from the fact that it is composed of superfoods: red and green chard; tatsoi; arugula; spinach. If you’ve never seen baby chard or tatsoi (a tender green with mild mustard quality), that experience in and of itself is certainly worth the cost of admission, as they are just about the cutest things I ever saw (see photo below for evidence). The salad is finished with fresh lemon and olive oil, and I added a little bit of feta for a nice salty finish. A perfectly satisfying warm weather meal.
Grilled Chicken with Warm Chickpea and Green Salad (adapted from Bon Appétit, May 2014)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-15 oz. can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
4 sprigs of thyme
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
8 small bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups arugula (or super greens)
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add chickpeas, thyme, hot pepper flakes, pepper, and kosher salt.
- Stir occasionally until just warmed though, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Preheat a grill over medium heat (oil your grill if necessary), and season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
- Grill chicken, skin side down for about 8-10 minutes, until skin starts to become golden brown. Turn and grill until cooked through, about 8-10 more minutes.
- Toss greens, lemon zest, lemon juice, and chicken peas with olive oil as needed. Sprinkle salad with feta and serve with chicken.