The Recipes

Roasted Chicken with Eggplant Puree

For some reason, this chicken just kept begging for more steps.  It seems like a lot, but 1) It's worth it, and 2) It's not really all that complicated.  I would betcha anything a restaurant would be happy to serve this on the menu.



Roasted Chicken with Eggplant Puree

Ingredients:

- 1 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast
- 2 T. unsalted butter
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped
- 1/6 onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 eggplant, cut into planks
- 1/4-in. piece of ginger, grated
- 1/4 c. white wine
- 1 T. dijon mustard
- bundle of fresh herbs, chopped (I used mint and parsley)
- chicken stock
- olive oil
- salt
- pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Spread the eggplant on a small baking sheet.  Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.  Let the eggplant roast for 45 minutes and remove.  Set the eggplant aside.

While the eggplant cooks, let the butter come up to room temperature.  Once it is softened, fold in the lemon zest and juice.

Turn the oven up to 450 degrees.

Loosen the skin on the chicken breast.  Tuck the butter underneath the skin and spread it around evenly.  Season both sides of the chicken liberally with sea salt and cracked black pepper.  Heat 1 T. of olive oil in a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe pan.  Add the chicken breast skin-side down.  Let it cook for 4-5 minutes; until a light brown crust develops.  Turn the chicken over and transfer it to the oven.  Bake it for fifteen minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 and cook another 8-10 minutes.  If pricked with a fork, the juice should run clear from the chicken - or use a meat thermometer, making sure to avoid the bone, to check the temperature.  Let the chicken rest.

While the chicken is cooking, add 1 T. of olive oil to a small skillet.  Add the onion and jalapeno, season with salt, and let it cook for 5-6 minutes.  Add in the ginger and garlic and stir for another minute.  Finally add in the coriander and cumin and a splash of chicken stock.  Let cool slightly, then pour the entire mixture into a blender.  Add in the flesh of the roasted eggplant and blend.  If it seems too thick, add in a little bit more chicken stock.

While the chicken rests, add the white wine and mustard to the pan you cooked the chicken in.  Let the wine cook down, adding in a small splash of chicken stock as needed.  Let the sauce reduce.  In the last minute, fold in the herbs.

Spoon the eggplant puree onto a plate.  To be fancy about your "presentation," spoon a couple of dollops of the puree onto the plate, then drag the back of the spoon through the puree, creating a smear.  Plate the chicken on top of the puree and finish with the pan sauce.