Sometimes you make a surprise dish that makes your heart smile. This was one of those times. Inspired by my friend’s mom’s eggplant dip, I decided to make a similar sauce and use it with chicken. Now, it took longer than I normally would spend on cooking. It ranks up there with my curry and cabbage roll dishes, but like them, it was worth it!
Some of the health benefits of this dish include it has weight and pain management properties, can help with stress and to protect against certain diseases.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe.
Chicken in a roasted eggplant and red bell pepper sauce
- Makes: 6 servings
- Total time: 1.5 hours, cook time: 1.15 hours, prep time: 15 minutes
- 1 kg (2.2 pounds) of chicken, cut into strips or cubed
- 2 cups of uncooked basmati rice
- 3 cups spinach, chopped
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock, homemade or reduced sodium
For the sauce
- 1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise
- 2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
- 1/4 cup pine nuts,
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, toasted
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh, cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Optional: 2-3 habanero peppers chopped
Directions for sauce
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Brush the eggplant, bell peppers, and garlic with 1 tablespoon of oil and place the side without skin down on a baking pan.
- Cook until the eggplant softens and bell peppers begin to blister, 45-55 minutes.
- Let the eggplant and bell peppers cool.
- Once they have cooled, blend the eggplant, bell peppers, garlic, pine nuts, cumin, cilantro, parsley, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and peppers if using them, in a blender until smooth.
Directions for the chicken and spinach
- Marinate chicken in some of the sauce for a minimum of one hour to 24 hours.
- Cook rice according to package. I usually let my rice sit in water for 1 hour before cooking.
- Chop spinach.
- Add the remaining oil, chicken stock and remaining sauce in a large saucepan and turn the heat on high
- Add the marinated chicken to the pan and turn the heat down to medium-high for 10 minutes
- Add the chopped spinach and turn the heat medium until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 -15 minutes more depending on your stove and the size of your chicken strips.
Serve it with the rice.
Nutritional value for 1 serving (based on brands and quantities used in the recipe)
- Calories: 486.8
- Fat: 15.3g
- Carbohydrates: 50g
- Protein: 42.5g