When I was a teenager, I worked as a waitress at a restaurant in Germantown, Wisconsin, called The Country Kitchen. I think the chain is still around, but the Germantown location was replaced by a bank with a newly surfaced parking lot. One of the attractions of The CK was a weekend buffet that transitioned to an evening salad bar. It may not have been fancy, but it was the only place to build your own salad for under $5!  The bar was loaded with pellets of ice, a couple dozen bowls of chilled foods that varied from shredded vegetables and cheeses to the grossest creamiest vat of chocolate pudding that came from a shelf-stable gigantic gallon can from the dry storage room. Chickpeas were also on the salad bar. I never ate them. Ever. The looked slimy and oozed with chickpea juice. I now know that this crazy juice is actually called aquafaba and I cook/bake with it regularly as an egg replacer. Who knew?

Perfect the Crunchy in These Chickpeas

Anyway – chickpeas. Today I can’t get enough. I make a great hummus with them, as well as Slightly Spicy Crunchy Chickpeas. I would make them full on spicy, but then my kids probably wouldn’t eat them. My three-year-old calls peppermint ice cream “too spicy” – so I know I won’t get very far by spicing up the chickpeas too much.

I’ve baked chickpeas in the past, but find that pan frying them is a little quicker and easier on a hot summer evening. The key is the crunch. Too much oil, they’re kind of soggy. Too little oil, they’re too dry. I don’t add any spice until the very end. It’s a really subtle kick. I use cayenne in this recipe. Not too much, but just enough that you know it’s there. Balanced with a little black pepper, cumin and sea salt, it’s a really simple, but delicious snack.

After these are pan-fried, let them sit out, preferably in a single layer on a paper-towel covered baking sheet or plate. Either will work. If you’d like to store these, don’t add them to a container right away or all the crunch will be lost. Let the chickpeas cool down and dry. You don’t want excess moisture making things soggy the next time you grab a handful.

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Slightly Spicy Crunchy Chickpeas
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1 ratings

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

17 hours, 41 minutes

Category: appetizer, snack

Yield: 6

Slightly Spicy Crunchy Chickpeas

If you have a pan screen, you may want to use it, or just take a step back as the chickpeas start to pop. It will sound almost like popcorn as they cook, which is what you want to hear. That said, there might be a bit of grease splatter, so be careful!

Ingredients

  1. 1 BPA-free can of chickpeas, drained
  2. 3 tbsp olive oil
  3. 1/2 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 tsp cumin
  5. 1/4 tsp black pepper
  6. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. Drain chickpeas of the liquid and set aside.
  2. Preheat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add chickpeas and salt to pan, and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes untouched.
  4. After you start hearing a popping sound, stir the chickpeas.
  5. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle in cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
  7. Toss in pan to coat thoroughly.
  8. Remove from heat and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate or baking sheet.
  9. Allow to cook and enjoy!
Nutrition label for Slightly Spicy Crunchy Chickpeas
https://tracidmitchell.com/recipes/slightly-spicy-crunchy-chickpeas/

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