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Chicken. We all cook it, but sometimes rely too much on one part. Give the other bits a chance! Every day this week, we’re sharing the definitively best recipes for chicken, part by part. Yesterday we talked about the whole bird. Next up: the breast.

Chicken Recipes, Part by Part: The Breast

Photo credit: Lisa Hubbard, Bon Appétit

There is much to love about this recipe, not least of which is that it’s filled with sultry, unabashed flavors—imagine Elizabeth Taylor swaying her hips into a room. But unlike Ms. Taylor, that lover of giant jewels and ginormous romance, this recipe is quite pragmatic. It leans hard on a host of kitchen staples you more than likely have on hand (garlic, ground cumin, a can of chickpeas, plain yogurt), and gets a lift from a fresh bunch of cilantro and smoky paprika.

Also sold as Pimentón Dulce or Pimentón de La Vera Dulce, smoked paprika lives in This Changes Everything territory; a scant half teaspoon of it in a lemony vinaigrette or tuna salad and you’re a goner. (It’s not unlike the effect of you-know-who’s violet eyes.)

After all that, there is, thank heavens, sweet relief—the vibrant burst of roast cherry tomatoes and their puckering juices, followed by a dollop of cool yogurt sauce. 

Roast Chicken Breasts with Garbanzo Beans, Tomatoes, and Paprika
4 servings

Use leftovers for sandwiches the next day. Place shredded chicken, garbanzos, and tomatoes in pita bread and top with yogurt sauce.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 tablespoon smoked paprika*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
4 chicken breast halves with bones
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 12-ounce container cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix first 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Pour 1 teaspoon spiced oil mixture into small bowl; whisk in yogurt and set aside for sauce. Place chicken on large rimmed baking sheet. Rub 2 tablespoons spiced oil mixture over chicken. Add beans, tomatoes, and 1/2 cup cilantro to remaining spiced oil mixture; toss to coat. Pour bean mixture around chicken. Sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper.

Roast until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup cilantro. Transfer chicken to plates. Spoon bean mixture over. Serve with yogurt sauce.

*Sometimes labeled Pimentón Dulce or Pimentón de La Vera Dulce; available at some supermarkets, at specialty foods stores, and from tienda.com.