Bay Leaf-Braised Chicken with Chickpeas

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 40m

Serves 4

Bill Penzey recently discovered what makes Turkish bay leaves the best in the world. Most of the year, the bay trees that grow on the mountains of western Turkey benefit from the moist air of the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. During the late summer the air turns drier, a phenomenon that helps to quickly dehydrate the leaves and concentrate their flavor.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 8 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • One 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • About 3/4 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  • 1 large roasted red pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley


In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until almost smoking.

Add the bay leaves. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, add to the

skillet and cook over moderately high heat until well-browned, about 5 minutes

per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the

fat from the pan; leave the bay leaves in the pan.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet. Add the onion and cook

over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5

minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine

and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until

almost evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Return the chicken to the skillet. Add the chickpeas and 3/4 cup of the

chicken stock. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the chicken is

tender, 17 to 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and transfer the chicken to a

platter. Stir the pepper strips and parsley into the chickpeas and season with

salt and pepper; add a little chicken stock to the chickpeas if they seem dry.

Spoon the chickpea mixture over the chicken and serve.

WINE RECOMMENDATION: With chicken, the preparation dictates the wine choice. Here, the bay leaves and roasted peppers call for a fruity, herbaceous white. Try a California Sauvignon Blanc, such as the 1996 Silverado or the 1996 Dry Creek.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.

RecID 1869

nutrition information per serving

458 calories; 20g total fat; 115mg cholesterol; 474mg sodium; 31g carbohydrates; 7g fiber; 35g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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