Using smoked paprika gives the fried garbanzos a complex, smoky flavor. Look for this variety in stores specializing in Hispanic ingredients. The best varieties are from Spain, where it is known as pimentón. If it is unavailable, substitute Hungarian hot paprika.
- 2 cans (each 15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Olive oil for frying
- Canola oil for frying
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
Dry the garbanzo beans and heat the oil
Preheat an oven to 200°F. Arrange a double layer of paper towels on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven. On another layer of paper towels, spread the drained garbanzo beans and gently roll to dry them.
Set a heavy fry pan over high heat. Add equal amounts of olive oil and canola oil to reach about 3/4 inch up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil until it reaches 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer.
Cook the garbanzo beans
Add half of the garbanzo beans to the hot oil and fry, stirring occasionally, until golden and slightly puffed, 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust the heat to maintain an oil temperature of about 350°F. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the paper towel–lined sheet, season with salt and pepper and keep warm in the oven. Repeat the process with the remaining garbanzo beans.
In a serving bowl, gently toss the warm garbanzo beans with the paprika and serve immediately. Makes about 2 cups.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Small Plates, by Brigit L. Binns (Oxmoor House, 2007).