Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Trio of: Party Snacks. Oven-Fried Cajun Chickpeas

 This recipe comes with 2 warnings: 1) Prepare to become addicted to this tiny treats; 2) Symptoms of this addiction include a tongue made raw by crunchy chickpea bits and cajun heat, AKA a condition known as "Cap'n Crunch Tongue".

I've been quiet with blogging as I've been busy preparing for a Christmas party that we hosted last night. Since (ehem!) I had to focus so many efforts on housecleaning, I wanted to enjoy experimenting with simple, yummy party foods.

Two restaurants in town feature a little fried chickpea appetizer, both featuring smoky paprika seasoning. The fried chickpeas at Radio Maria and Carmon's Bistro for me, frequently overshadow the main course. After reading a lot of reviews that fried chickpeas made an easy, crowd pleasing appetizer, I figured I'd give it a go. Since every recipe I looked up stated they needed to be made more or less immediately before serving, and I didn't want to mess with frying oil in a party dress, I looked for an alternative. Steamy Kitchen offered up this recipe, which I followed more or less as directed. As an added benefit, I got to use my new bottle of Dinosaur Bar-B-Que Cajun Foreplay Spice Rub and a new baking pan designed to make oven fried foods crispier. Here are pictures of them:

And the pan:

Cajun Oven-Fried Chickpeas
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Cajun seasoning, or other spice blend to taste (I used 2-3 Tbsp)
  • salt to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400, 325 if using convection. Rinse and drain the chickpeas.
2. Line a baking pan with paper towels. Pour the drained chickpeas on the towel in single layer and place a paper towel on top. Let sit for 10 mins.
3. After 10 mins, rub the palm on your hand on the top paper towel to remove the outer skins of the chickpeas. Discard the skins that remove easily.
4. Dispose of paper towels. Pour chickpeas in a bowl. Add the olive oil, and stir until the chickpeas are well coated. 
5. Return the chickpeas back to the baking pan in a single layer. Cook for 20 mins, stir. Cook for about 20 mins more, or until chickpeas are crispy.
6. Pour chickpeas in a bowl, gradually adding/mixing in salt and seasoning to desired flavor. Serve immediately. 

Kitchen Notes: These will store for a day or so, but some crispness is lost. I think these would be excellent on a salad.
Verdict? It's a good thing that this blog is written, rather than spoken since my tongue is so sore from eating too many of these. These are almost as good as the fried ones, but easier to make, and possibly healthier. I'm really excited to make these again and again and I think they'll be a fabulous substitute for a lot of commercial salty snacks.


  1. What an amazing appetizer! I love the whole cajun flavor thing.

  2. Thanks Professor V! I must say I'm mildly addicted now, I think I'll make another batch tonight!

  3. Interesting that the spice goes on *after* they're baked. And: Had no idea that Radio & Carmon's offer fried chickpeas -- that's great, thanks for the tip.

    1. Lisa--I agree, my instinct would be to add the spices prior to baking, but the recipe this one's based off of says to add at the end--my thought is some of the seasoning might burn in the oven. The Radio Maria chickpeas are outstanding, the ones at Carmon's I had the 1st week the were officially open, so I don't know if it's something they stuck with. Hope you like them, miss your blog!