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Author Notes: This recipe is my adaptation of a Bon Appetit recipe from February 2004. I increased the amount of spices from the original recipe, use marinated chicken breasts instead of plain chicken thighs, and added green olives which look awesome against the red/orange sauce. The best part about this recipe (besides it tastes and smells delicious) is that can be done in steps and if feeds a crew of people. I usually start marinating the chicken in the fridge and roast the eggplant in the oven the day before.
**This stew is yummy leftovers the next day after the flavors have melded together and it freezes really well. Let it cool in the fridge and then spoon into lidded containers and freeze.
Side dishes that I love with this stew:
Couscous with toasted almonds and currants
Whole wheat naan flat bread
Roasted asparagus with garlic
Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken and Roasted Eggplant
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 5 cloves of garlic, halved and slightly crushed
- 1 lemon-zest the outside and juice the inside
- 4-6 chicken breasts
- 1 medium/large eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Marinate the chicken (2 hours to overnight). Combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, juice of one lemon(you might need more if it’s not a juicy lemon), lemon zest, 5 peeled and slightly crushed garlic cloves, salt and pepper, and chicken cut into 2 inch chunks.
- For the eggplant: Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover a cookie sheet with foil and spray with a non-stick spray or brush with olive oil. Place eggplant and 4 tablespoons olive oil and pinch of salt and pepper in large bowl; toss to coat. Spread eggplant out on prepared the baking sheet and bake until soft and brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. (The eggplant can be made 1 day ahead. Roast in the oven, let cool to room temperature, cover and then refrigerated.)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (might need more if the pot starts looking dry)
- 3 cups sliced onions (2 medium onions)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced in long strips
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
- 2.5 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, ground
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups canned diced tomatoes, un-drained (from 28-ounce can)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice (add lemon zest too if you want but the chicken should be pretty lemony from the marinade)
- 1 to 1.5 cup green olives (use plain/pitted green olives. Do NOT use green olives with pimento…they can be to vinegary)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram (you can used dry marjoram instead)
- 1/2 cup whole blanched almonds or slivered almonds, toasted
- chopped fresh cilantro
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large wide pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and bell pepper. Cover and cook until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add all spices (I find that adding all the spices to one bowl and checking off what I have put in helps me….I had a incident of putting in one spice twice and one spice not at all); stir 1 minute, until all the vegetables are nicely coated. Add tomatoes, 1cup chicken stock, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; bring to boil.
- Using a slotted spoon add the marinated chicken into the pot (it’s ok if some of the garlic and lemon zest makes it in too); make sure to push the chicken down so that it is totally submerged in the sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir and simmer until chicken is tender, about 15 minutes longer.
- Stir in roasted eggplant, drained and rinsed green olives, and marjoram into chicken. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes to heat through and blend flavors. Season stew to taste with more lemon juice, if desired, and salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Stew with Olives