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Chicken - Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant

Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant

by Alanna Kellogg @ A Veggie Venture

.....................................................................................

Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Time to table: 60 minutes
Serves 4

  • 1 pound fresh eggplant, cubed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika or pimentón, the smoky Spanish paprika
  • 2 teaspoons whole fennel seed
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 28 ounces canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock or Homemade Vegetable Bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1-1/2 lemons)
  • 1 pound chicken thighs, bone-in or bone-out, skin removed and fat trimmed
  • Chopped cilantro

ROAST EGGPLANT Set oven at 400F. Toss eggplant in 1 tablespoon olive oil until evenly coated. Arrange in single layer on baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes (no need to wait for oven to fully heat) or until light brown.

MAKE SAUCE Heat a Dutch oven on medium high, heat the second tablespoon olive oil until shimmery. Add onion and garlic and stir to coat with fat; sauté until golden. Add spices, stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth and lemon juice and bring to a boil.

COOK Reduce heat, add chicken thighs, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Turn thighs over, cover, simmer another 10 minutes. Add eggplant, simmer 10 minutes uncovered.

To serve, top with cilantro and serve with Oven-Baked Rice or something else that will soak up the fragrant juices.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving (1 thigh, 1-1/2 cups sauce): 306 Calories; 12g Tot Fat; 94mg Cholesterol; 719mg Sodium; 26g Carb; 8g Fiber; 26g Protein; Weight Watchers 6 points

.....................................................................................

NOTES FROM THE CHEF:

Are your spices a model of management or a muddle of a mess?

My personal spice system (is orderly confusion a system?) dates back to my first apartment with its supermarket skillets and single cupboard.

And it’s worked great until recently. But those neat little Tone’s red and green containers simply aren’t big enough any more.

Spices give your taste buds a vigorous workout. Doubling, even tripling, the spices make a food taste, well, bigger – and importantly, bigger but not fatter.

MOROCCAN CHICKEN is redolent with the depth of paprika and the bite of ginger, the musk of fennel and the heft of cumin, all lifted up by the bright contrast of lemon. It’s simply pungent with flavor.

Try increasing the spices – and dropping the fat – with favorite recipes. They may surprise you!

ALANNA's TIPS Before making this dish, take a deep whiff of each spice. Does it smell dusty? It’s time for a replacement. As written, Moroccan Chicken reheats and freezes beautifully. But you might also cook ahead and freeze just the sauce, adding the meat and eggplant for a fast supper another night. Substitute chicken breasts if that’s what’s on hand. But do look for skinless, boneless chicken thighs. The meat is often less expensive and always more flavorful. Common wisdom coaches us to avoid dark meat but in Weight Watchers terms, four ounces of breast and thigh both tally in at three points. Try a thigh!





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