Make my crispy chickpeas less meh
June 6, 2016 12:03 PM   Subscribe

So I made this "veggie chorizo-spiced chickpea" recipe last night and the results were... meh. The spicing was great but the texture was all wrong. I was expecting extra crispy on the outside, meaty on the inside but wound up with a very slight crispiness and a sort of mealy interior. Is there a way to vastly improve the texture or am I asking too much of my chickpeas?
posted by gwint to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Use way more than 1 teaspoon of oil. That's not even enough to cover each chickpea.
posted by something something at 12:10 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

The first red flag to me is that the chickpeas weren't dried off first (at least, in the recipe). So did they still have the weird goop from the can in them? Or generally too much liquid?
posted by getawaysticks at 12:11 PM on June 6, 2016

Very crispy chickpeas are usually done by slow dehydrating. Basically leaving them overnight in a warm oven. That's the only way I've been able to make crispy chickpeas for snacks. You want to remove the water rather than just cooking the chickpeas.
6-7 hours in an oven on 175 would probably give you that nice crispness.
posted by InkDrinker at 12:12 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: (I drained the can thoroughly but did not attempt to dry them before applying the oil and rub.)
posted by gwint at 12:16 PM on June 6, 2016

Yeah, unless you are really trying to cook low-fat, use more like 2 tbsp of oil. Also make sure they are well spaced-out (no touching!), and either cook them in a preheated oven-safe pan or in a lightweight pan with very low sides.

My boyfriend swears by drying off the chickpeas but I don't bother, I figure the water goes pretty fast. I do rinse them though.
posted by mskyle at 12:19 PM on June 6, 2016

I go the other direction, using no oil. I lower the heat (to 400) and stir the beans 3-4 times over an hour. Any hotter and you run the risk of getting scorched flavors. I've done it at lower temperatures (down to 325) for longer periods (well over two hours), but the end result is just a slightly dried mealy bean with none of the crunch I'm looking for.

Here's the recipe I follow most often. I drain the beans but otherwise don't dry them at all. I let the residual liquid be the spice binding. I make a large batch at least weekly. Works great!
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 12:22 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

The water does go fast, at the expense of pushing the oil (which is a superior heat-transfer method) off, as well as preventing the oil from properly coating in the first place.

More oil, cook longer = crispier chickpeas.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:23 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]

i was just looking at a similar recipe which (1) had you cooking the chickpeas yourself, for shorter than you would if you were eating them normally, (2) emphasised leaving them to dry and then "towelling them off" and (3) used more oil (really what everyone else is saying).
posted by andrewcooke at 12:37 PM on June 6, 2016

Being someone who eats the hell out of crispy chickpeas on the regular, drain 'em and dry 'em real good and don't be shy with the oil.
posted by Kitteh at 12:44 PM on June 6, 2016

I get crispy-all-through, kind of like corn nuts, using late afternoon dreaming hotel's approach, but crispy-middle creamy-interior by rinsing and drying thoroughly and covering them in oil.
posted by clew at 12:44 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]

I do them at a lower temperature (375 F) for about an hour (stirring them around every 15 minutes or so). I don't thoroughly dry them, but I do give them a pat with some paper towels. I use about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, to really get that movie-theater-popcorn flavor. They end up nice and crispy on the outside, with that little bit of tenderness deep inside.

(I only season with salt, but I'm sure you could sprinkle whatever deliciousness on them.)
posted by themissy at 8:42 AM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]

some follow-up after doing this myself this morning.

the recipe i followed was one that called for the peas to be dried, then mixed with a relatively small amount of oil plus the seasoning. i think the need for them to be dry was to help the oil/seasoning to "stick" well. then they cooked in the oil they were coated with - there was no extra covering of oil in the pan.

after cooking for the time recommended in the recipe (30min at 200C) they were not great - pretty much like you described yours. they improved a lot with more cooking (another 40min, final 20m at around 230C).

so i suspect that (1) there are two approaches being discussed above, one with more oil and more of a frying approach (which does not need the chickpeas to be dry) and (2) that you need to cook them more.
posted by andrewcooke at 8:37 AM on June 8, 2016

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