Chicken and Aubergine bake

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 combine my favourite spices and vegetables; chicken and aubergine with courgettes, infused with the flavours of the middle-east. This dish is a perfect midweek supper for the family or dinner party if you’re entertaining guests.

By the way, if you want to skip the chicken and make it a vegan or vegetarian dish, replace with chickpeas and along with the aubergine and courgettes, this dish will 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 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 medium onions, finely sliced
  • 1 200g jar sun-dried tomatoes or a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 200ml tomato passata
  • Salt to taste
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Olive oil for drizzling

Here’s how to make this Chicken and Aubergine stew:

In a large bowl, toss the aubergines in a little rapeseed oil, salt and pepper and arrange on a large baking tray.

Chicken and Aubergine Persian Inspired CasseroleChicken and Aubergine Persian Inspired Stew

Repeat for the courgettes and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 mins until golden, but not overcooked. The aubergines may take a little longer, so begin with the aubergines before preparing the courgettes. Once ready, remove from the oven and set aside.

TIP: You can prepare this in advance, even the day before and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.

Meanwhile, arrange the chicken breasts, onions and tomatoes in a large baking dish (or heavy cast iron baking dish) and sprinkle all the spices over. With your hands, gently “massage” the spices into the mixture so it is evenly distributed and the chicken is well coated.

Put the chicken into a hot oven (180 degrees) to begin cooking, for 20mins. Remove from the oven and top with the aubergines & courgettes, lay them carefully on the chicken. Season well and pour over the passata. Gently stir this in to combine with the chicken and vegetables and finish off with a drizzle of oil.

Cover with foil (or lid) and bake at 170 degrees for 45-60mins. Ensure the chicken pieces are covered in sauce from time to time during cooking and add a little water if it looks dry.

Once the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thick, remove it from the oven. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary and ideally, allow it to “rest” so that the flavours can settle and infuse. Serve hot with basmati rice or on its own. Either way, I always like to serve a green salad with a lemon vinaigrette on the side!

CLICK HERE for my favourite ingredients and kitchen utensils

[edited 11th April 2021]

Chicken and Aubergine bake

Persian Inspired Chicken and Aubergine Bake

May Simpkin
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 middle eastern flavours 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.
4.72 from 7 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Resting time 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Iranian, Middleeastern, Persian
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

To make this Chicken and Aubergine Bake, you’ll need:

  • 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 medium onions finely sliced
  • 200 g jar sun dried tomatoes or a handful of fresh cherry Tomatoes (or 1 tin tomatoes)
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 200 ml tomato passata
  • sea salt to taste
  • rapeseed oil for baking vegetables
  • olive oil for drizzling

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, toss the aubergines in a little rapeseed oil, salt and pepper and arrange on a large baking tray.
  • Repeat for the courgettes and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 30 mins until golden, but not overcooked. The aubergines may take a little longer, so begin with the aubergines before preparing the courgettes. Once ready, remove from the oven and set aside.
    TIP: You can prepare this in advance, even the day before and store in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
  • Meanwhile, arrange the chicken breasts, onions and tomatoes in a large baking dish (or heavy cast iron baking dish) and sprinkle all the spices over. With your hands, gently “massage” the spices into the mixture so it is evenly distributed and the chicken is well coated.
  • Put the chicken into a hot oven (180 degrees) to begin cooking, for 20mins. Remove from the oven and top with the aubergines & courgettes, lay them carefully on the chicken. Season well and pour over the passata. Gently stir this in to combine with the chicken and vegetables and finish off with a drizzle of oil.
  • Cover with foil (or lid) and bake at 170 degrees for 45-60mins. Ensure the chicken pieces are covered in sauce from time to time during cooking and add a little water if it looks dry.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through and the sauce thick, remove from the oven. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary and ideally, allow it to “rest” so that the flavours can settle and infuse. Serve hot with basmati rice or on its own. 

I always like to serve a green salad with a lemon vinaigrette on the side!

    Notes

    You can replace sun-dried (or fresh) tomatoes with 1 tin of canned tomatoes, in which case you will not need the Passata. Sun-dried tomatoes add depth of flavour without too much liquid but are not essential.
    Nutritional Nugget
    Chicken, as a first-class protein, will provide the full spectrum of essential amino acids, ensuring the body has all it needs for efficient muscle growth and repair as well optimal production of enzymes, neurotransmitters (eg Serotonin and Dopamine) and hormones. Plus, combined with so many vegetables, this meal is not only nutrient-rich but also a good source of fibre, essential for good gut health.
    Keyword Chicken, Chicken Bake, Chicken casserole, Chicken stew, Family Meal, Meal Planning, Persian Cuisine

    NUTRITIONAL NUGGET

    As a first-class protein, chicken will provide the full spectrum of essential amino acids, ensuring the body has all it needs for efficient muscle growth and repair as well optimal production of enzymes, neurotransmitters (eg Serotonin and Dopamine) and hormones. Plus, combined with so many vegetables, this meal is not only nutrient-rich but also a good source of fibre, essential for good gut health.

    Is this suitable for Intermittent Fasting?

    ABSOLUTELY! With good levels of protein and fibre, this meal will help you to feel fuller for longer and help you to keep going through until the next meal.


    Want to get started with Intermittent Fasting?

    Check out my comprehensive beginner’s guide to get you going.

    Intermittent Fasting Guide

    CLICK HERE FOR MORE


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    17 comments

    • Irene 3rd February 2019   Reply →

      Lovely recipe, I made it with 25% less sugar and no frosting, still great and a bit healthier.

      • May Simpkin 11th May 2019   Reply →

        Think you’ve probably got this recipe confused with another!!

        • Panayiota MARCOS 25th September 2020   Reply →

          5 stars
          We love this recipe. I’ve made it a few times with and without the chicken. Today I am using only Aubergines.

    • SP Beaton 11th May 2019   Reply →

      5 stars
      Chicken & Aubergine bake really tasty Used left over roast chicken so didn’t need to cook the chicken just made sure everything was piping hot. What we didn’t use reheated well too.

      • May Simpkin 11th May 2019   Reply →

        Love hearing ways of using leftovers! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

    • Wendy 22nd April 2020   Reply →

      just about to make Persian chicken but the recipe doesn’t say if the oven temperatures are conventional or fan assisted.

      • May Simpkin 22nd April 2020   Reply →

        Hi Wendy, thrilled you’re about to make this! All my recipes allow for fan assisted ovens but ovens do tend to vary, so you may find you have to adjust the times or even the position in the oven. Essentially, after the initial phase to start cooking the chicken and roasting the aubergines, I’ve used a lower temperature for the main cooking phase so the flavours have a chance to develop and infuse slowly. I do hope you enjoy it!

      • May Simpkin 14th October 2020   Reply →

        Hi Wendy, all my recipes are for fan assisted ovens. You may need to adjust accordingly.

    • Katherine Lucey 28th April 2020   Reply →

      5 stars
      I made this today. My favourite veg is aubergine and love Middle Eastern spices. This is simply delicious. Couldn’t eat enough of it and went back for more. Served with cauliflower rice. I will be adding this to my party menu. Outstandingly tasty x

      • May Simpkin 29th April 2020   Reply →

        Thank you for taking the time to let me know; I cannot tell you how wonderful it is hearing that you have enjoyed one of my recipes! Cauliflower rice sounds like a great side too – love this! x

    • Paul 18th January 2021   Reply →

      4 stars
      Lovely recipe. The cooking instructions are confusing however:

      Repeat for courgettes and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 35 mins until golden, but not overcooked.
      Put the chicken into the oven, along with the vegetables, to begin cooking for 20mins.
      When the vegetables are cooked, add them to the chicken. Season well and pour over the Passata, mix to combine and finish off with a drizzle of olive oil. Cover with foil or lid and bake at a lower oven temperature of 170 degrees for 45-60mins.

      Can you clarify please? Thanks.

      • May Simpkin 18th January 2021   Reply →

        Hi Paul, sorry you found the recipe instructions confusing; I have now edited the recipe which I hope will be clearer. Basically, you need to cook both the aubergines and courgettes first and also begin cooking the chicken- all separately. Then assemble the dish with the vegetables and chicken and the remaining ingredients. It’s an incredibly popular recipe, so I appreciate your feedback and hope it’s now even easier! Do let me know how you get on!

        • Paul 19th January 2021   Reply →

          5 stars
          Thanks May, that clarified what I thought. I used red pepper instead of courgette as I had no courgette. Worked really well. Very tasty recipe. Very healthy too.

          • May Simpkin 19th January 2021   Reply →

            Red peppers are a great swap! So happy you got to make this fabulous recipe and once again, thanks for checking with me; it’s so valuable to have this feedback.

    • Em 5th March 2021   Reply →

      5 stars
      This dish was amazing. I fried off the onions first and then added half the spice to the onions. I also added roasted red pepper and then I added a half cup of quinoa 20 minutes before the end. I am still dreaming of this dish and am looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow already!

    • Nic Monteiro 11th April 2021   Reply →

      4 stars
      Fab recipe, now safely stored in “Whisk” app so I can find it again

      Overall Cooking times unclear ( not just the headline 15′ prep 45′ cook) as prep then roast Aubergine/ courgette 30′ then combine with chicken then cook for another 45-60 min means not ideal to start as late as I did

      • May Simpkin 11th April 2021   Reply →

        Hi Nic, you’re right! I’ve amended the recipe to add another 15mins to the cooking time, which I hope is a little more realistic! My apologies and hope you enjoyed it despite eating later than planned! Appreciate your feedback.

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