cream of chickpeas with chicken and red cabbage

crema di ceci con pollo e cavolo rosso

Servings 4

Pureed chickpeas are a hearty complement for wine-braised red cabbage and sautéed chicken.  This is a flavorful and nourishing meal for a brisk fall day.


1 1/2  cups dried chickpeas
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4  pound skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Coarse sea salt
3/4 pound red cabbage, cored and thinly sliced (4 1 /2 cups)
3/4 cup dry red wine
2 cups vegetable broth
Fresh thyme leaves 



Soak chickpeas in water to cover by 2 inches overnight (8 hours), then drain. 
Simmer chickpeas in water to cover by 2 inches in a large pot, partially covered with lid, adding more water if necessary, until tender, 1 to 1 1/4  hours. 
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, season lightly with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to a plate.  

Return pan to heat. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil, cabbage and pinch salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add wine and 2 tablespoons water; cook for 1 minute more. Reduce heat to low and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until wine has evaporated and cabbage is tender, about 35 minutes. Season with salt to taste. 
Drain chickpeas. Set aside 1/2 cup chickpeas. In a blender, purée remaining chickpeas with 1 3⁄4 cups vegetable broth until smooth. Transfer to a saucepan. Bring chickpea purée just to a low boil, stirring occasionally; thin with some of the remaining broth, if desired. Remove purée from heat and season with salt to taste.  
Divide purée among 4 bowls. Top with cabbage, chicken and reserved chickpeas. Garnish with thyme leaves. Serve warm.