Chtit’ha Djedj

(Algerian Chicken with Chickpeas)

April 21: National Chickpeas Day

Islander’s brother, Kahuna, loves chickpeas and requests that his sister cooks something with it when he is able to visit and stay with us. This Algerian chicken stew with chickpeas is an easy and hearty recipe that he enjoys as a home-cooked meal.

We also treat him to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern meals, which feature his favorite garbanzo beans as ingredients in this cultural cuisine, at nearby restaurants in our Texas town. Some offer tasty stews with chickpeas on their menus.

As we are unable to see each other due the coronavirus, he cooks this chicken and chickpea stew for his religious community of brothers. Kahuna also serves a side salad with—no surprise—extra chickpeas!

We are sure he is enjoying National Chickpeas Day—whatever he is eating with garbanzo beans—and we hope our readers do, too, when they cook Algerian chicken stew with chickpeas.


(Adapted from Handful of Joy)


  • Oil for frying
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 chicken legs
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon harissa spice
  • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


In a large pot, saute the onions in oil over medium high heat until translucent. Add the chicken legs and brown the skin. Sprinkle harissa spice.

Add the tomato paste, crushed garlic and drained chickpeas.

Add the chopped chicken breast. Pour enough water to cover everything (less if thicker gravy, more if soupy). Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 35-45 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with couscous or rice.


  • Ground harissa is a mildly spiced mix, not the chili paste. We used McCormick’s brand found at our local grocery store. Middle Eastern stores also carry different brands with mild and hot options.

  • Search our blog for other recipes containing chickpeas (garbanzo beans).