Persian Inspired Chicken and Aubergine Bake
I’m always looking for interesting ideas for chicken and this one was certainly a winner! This subtly spiced chicken and aubergine stew combines my favourite vegetables; aubergine and courgette with the flavours of the middle-east and is a perfect midweek supper for the family or dinner party. By the way, if you want to skip the chicken and make it a vegan or vegetarian dish, replace with chickpeas and it’ll work perfectly.
I recommend you make it ahead and reheat in the same dish when you’re ready to eat it.
To make this Chicken and Aubergine Bake, you’ll need:
- 2 medium Onions, finely chopped
- 2 large Aubergines, cut into thick wedges (cut the aubergine in half first so the wedges are not too long)
- 2 Courgettes, cut into thick wedges (as above)
- 4 Chicken breasts, scored with a sharp knife
- 2 tsp Turmeric
- 2 tsp Smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 250ml tomato passata
- Salt to taste
- 1 200g jar sun dried tomatoes or handful of fresh cherry tomatoes
- Rapeseed oil
In a large bowl, toss the aubergines in a little rapeseed oil, salt and pepper and arrange on a large baking tray.
Repeat for courgettes and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 35 mins until golden, but not overcooked
Meanwhile, arrange the chicken breasts, onions and tomatoes in a large baking dish and sprinkle all the spices over. With your hands, gently “massage” the spices into the mixture so it is evenly distributed.
When the vegetables are cooked, add them to the chicken. Season well and pour over the passata and finish off with a drizzle of oil.
Cover with foil or lid and bake at 170 degrees for 45-60mins. Ensure the the chicken pieces are covered in sauce from time to time during cooking and add a little water if it looks dry
When the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thick, adjust the seasoning. Ideally allow it to “rest” so that the flavours can settle and serve hot with basmati rice or on it’s own. I always like to serve a green salad with a lemon vinaigrette on the side!