[updated Dec 2023]

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 spices; chicken and aubergine, 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.

Want to make it Vegan / Vegetarian? Replace the chicken with chickpeas and perhaps include courgettes along with the aubergine – it will work perfectly!

Can I make this ahead? Definitely! Make this dish a couple of days in advance and reheat in the same dish when you’re ready to serve.

Persian-inspired Chicken and Aubergine Bake |May Simpkin Nutrition

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)
  • 4 chicken breasts, scored with a sharp knife
  • 2 medium onions, finely sliced
  • x1 200g jar sun-dried tomatoes or a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 green cardamom (slightly smashed) / 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 200ml tomato passata
  • Salt to taste
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Olive oil for drizzling

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

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees

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, if you’re using them for a vegan version.

Chicken and Aubergine Persian Inspired Stew

Bake for 30 mins until golden, but not overcooked. Once ready, remove from the oven and set aside.

TIP: You can bake your vegetables in advance and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.

Score the chicken breasts in a criss-cross pattern. This will help the flavours to absorb.

Arrange the scored chicken breasts, sliced onions and tomatoes in a large ovenproof 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.

Cover the dish with with foil or a lid, and bake for 20 mins at 180 degrees. Remove from the oven and add the aubergine and passata. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine and finish with a drizzle of oil.

Cover again and bake at a lower temperature; 170 degrees for 45-60 mins. Ensure the chicken pieces are covered in sauce occasionally during cooking and add a little water if it looks dry.

Once the sauce is thick, remove it from the oven. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Ideally, allow the dish to “rest” so 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!

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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 spices; chicken and aubergine, 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 it with chickpeas and perhaps include courgettes along with the aubergine; it will work perfectly.
I recommend you make it ahead and reheat it in the same dish when you're ready to eat it.
4.84 from 12 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)
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 medium onions finely sliced
  • 200 g jar sun dried tomatoes or a handful of halved fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (slightly smashed) / 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 200 ml tomato passata (or 1 tin tomatoes)
  • salt to taste
  • rapeseed oil for baking vegetables
  • olive oil for drizzling

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  • 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, if you're using them for a vegan version.
  • Bake for 30 mins until golden, but not overcooked. Once ready, remove from the oven and set aside.
  • TIP: You can bake your vegetables in advance and store them in the fridge until you're ready to use them.
  • Score the chicken breasts in a criss-cross pattern. This will help the flavours to absorb.
  • Arrange the scored chicken breasts, sliced onions and tomatoes in a large ovenproof 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.
  • Cover the dish with foil or a lid, and bake for 20 mins at 180 degrees. Remove from the oven and add the aubergine and passata. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir to combine and finish with a drizzle of oil.
  • Cover again and bake at a lower temperature; 170 degrees for 45-60 mins. Ensure the chicken pieces are covered in sauce occasionally during cooking and add a little water if it looks dry.
  • Once the sauce is thick, remove it from the oven. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
    Ideally, allow the dish to "rest" so 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

    Sun-dried tomatoes add depth of flavour without too much liquid but are not essential. You can replace the sun-dried tomatoes with some fresh tomatoes. You can also replace the pasata with a tin of chopped tomatoes.
    🥕 Nutritional Nugget
    As a first-class protein, chicken provides the full spectrum of essential amino acids, ensuring the body has all it needs for efficient muscle growth and repair. It also supports the optimal production of enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin and dopamine).
    Plus, combined with the aubergine, sundried tomatoes and onions, 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 provides the full spectrum of essential amino acids, ensuring the body has all it needs for efficient muscle growth and repair. It also supports the optimal production of enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters (e.g. serotonin and dopamine).

    Plus, combined with the aubergine, sundried tomatoes and onions, 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

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