Eggplant & Chicken Tajine

A Tajine is an earthenware pot which is used in many Mediterranean slow-cooked, savory dishes. The Mediterranean diet is touted as a very healthy diet… I try to incorporate this type of meal into our menu at least once a month… slowly introducing the different flavors without too much fanfare…and so far everyone seems to enjoy each dish! On today’s menu is an Eggplant & Chicken dish that is so healthy and delicious – if you don’t have a Tajine simply use an oval shallow casserole dish…

Eggplant & Chicken Tajine
2 medium eggplants
1 medium butternut squash
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & fresh ground pepper
6 boneless chicken thighs
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Spanish onion, diced
1/4 cup drained capers
1-2 large fire-roasted red peppers
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
6 eggs

Heat oven to 450°F. Slice the eggplants on the diagonal approximately 1/2″ thick. Brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil and season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Place in a single layer on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Roast 20 minutes in heated oven; set aside. Peel the butternut squash, slice into approximately 1/2″ thick rounds, brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast these for 15 minutes when the eggplant is out of the oven. Meanwhile, take the skin off of the chicken thighs and cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté the chicken in a little extra virgin olive oil, along with the minced garlic and diced Spanish onion, for 10-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through and onion is tender. Place chicken mixture into a food processor; add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and the capers. Pulse until a paste forms. Lower the oven to 375°F. Layer half of the roasted eggplants in the bottom of a medium-sized, oval, shallow baking dish or casserole dish. Spread half of the chicken mixture over the eggplants. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the chicken. Arrange the roasted butternut squash rounds over the cheese. Spread remaining chicken over the squash and the remaining cheese over the chicken. Chop the fire-roasted red peppers into bite-sized pieces and arrange over the cheese. Finally, arrange the remaining eggplant slices on top. Beat the eggs until frothy and pour over the top of the dish, tilting the dish to get the egg all around it. Bake 40 minutes until just set. Remove from oven and allow to rest. Slice and serve this deliciously healthy meal. Makes 8 servings.
Enjoy!

Linda

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This recipe is adapted from The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Nancy Harmon Jenkins.

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