November marks the start of holiday excess. Football season, Thanksgiving, office parties. The march towards the year’s culmination leads to overindulgence of both food and drink. So, for this weekday recipe, we turn to the healing powers of turmeric. This root common to Indian cooking has a pale hue when raw, but takes on a deep, finger-staining gold when powdered. It is the spice that gives curry its color, but it lends earthiness rather than heat to dishes. Curcumin is the main active ingredient, known as an anti-oxidant and for its anti-inflammatory effects. The rest of the dish, composed of roast chicken and protein-packed chickpeas, provides a healthy low-carb foil to the food festivities of the month.

 

To Pair: Pinot Noir from Burgundy  

Indian spices typically pose a challenge for western world wines, but since turmeric doesn’t give off heat, it’s far easier to find a match. Especially since the spice blend in this recipe is relatively straightforward. Considering chicken thighs are a mid-weight food – not dense like a steak, nor as light as a fish filet – Pinot Noir works well. The dish’s earthy flavors complemented by the nuttiness and grainy texture of chickpeas, call for an old-world Pinot that’s less fruity and more savory than its California, New Zealand, or Australian counterparts.

 

Wines to Find: Typically, Burgundy proves expensive for weeknight sipping, but a few producers deliver consistency and great value: Joseph Drouhin, Bouchard Père et Fils, and Louis Jadot. You’ll find at least one of these names at your local wine shop. 2014 was a challenging year in the vineyards, but many of the easy drinking wines, perfect for this dish, are lovely now.

 

Serves: 4

Total time: 45 minutes

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or swap with olive oil or butter)

8 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in

1 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper plus 1/4 teaspoon for seasoning chicken

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt plus more for seasoning

3/4 cup chicken broth

2 15-ounce cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

 

Directions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Pat chicken dry. Season with salt and ¼ tsp cayenne. Set aside.

2. Heat coconut oil in a Dutch oven (or wide, ovenproof skillet) over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown chicken thighs, about 5 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.

3. Pour off all but one tablespoon of fat from your cooking vessel. With heat on medium, add onion, garlic, spices, and 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until onion and garlic soften and spices are fragrant, about five minutes.

4. Add broth, scraping browned bits into the liquid. Add chickpeas, then bring to a simmer. Nestle chicken thighs into the mixture, skin side up. Transfer to the oven and roast 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken cooks through. Remove from oven, and divide thighs and chickpeas across four plates. Garnish with parsley and serve with a glass of slightly chilled Burgundy.