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.
4.75 from 8 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

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