Chicken with Eggplant & Creamy Tomato Sauce
Show me the chicken stew. I was famous growing up for my love of falling-apart chicken, and to this day I adore meat that has been cooked long enough to soak in the flavors of cacciatore, Morocco, coriander, and New Mexico.
Even white meat.
When I go to the butcher, I almost always choose chicken thighs, usually bone-in/skin-on. Yes, dark meat is more flavorful and harder to overcook. It’s also cheaper. Then I roast the thighs, or I make things like this stew, where you have to pick out the bones and skin as you eat, but I never mind that though I know some people do, which is why those people (maybe you?) search the internet for boneless skinless chicken breast recipes, and, in the process, say no to bones, skin, and dark meat. If we’re being 110% honest, sometimes I scoff at you guys (I’m really sorry!), but today I’ve made you a really lovely flavorful stew that’s ideally suited to right now: the end of summer, but not the end of tomato season, or eggplant season, or herbs-from-other-people’s-gardens season.
The technique here is classic, landing somewhere between a classic beef stew and a stir-fry. You coat the white meat in a little flour, which helps the surfaces become golden now and aids the stew in thickening, later. Then, you sear eggplant til its “meat” is sweet and soft. Finally, tomatoes and creamy almond milk come into the pot to tie everything together. Herbs, as many as you want, are garnish.
One last thing, which is unrelated to chicken. This is my last post in the sponsored series from Almond Breeze. I hope you’ve enjoyed the recipes (Toasted Almond & Cherry Custard Pie, “Creamy” Corn Soup with Crispy Bacon, Mocha Choco Loco, Coriander Chicken, and Apple-Cinnamon-Almond Smoothies). I know I always thank you for supporting the sponsors who help this site keep on chugging, and I really mean that.
Today, if you have an extra moment, I’m wondering if you’d click through to take this survey, giving feedback that’ll be useful both to Almond Breeze and to me. One person who takes it will win a $100 VISA gift card, offered by Fanscape, the social media marketing agency that works with the company and bloggers. (All survey responses are anonymous. Take the survey by 5pm on September 3rd to enter to win the gift card.)
Chicken with Eggplant & Creamy Tomato Sauce
Salt as you go in this one. That’s always important in cooking, but between the white meat, the eggplant, and the tomatoes, this one really needs to be well-salted to sing.
about 1 cup small pasta shapes (or, make rice, or just serve with bread)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
About 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Freshly ground pepper
2 medium eggplant, trimmed and cut into large pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large tomato, cut into a large dice
1/2 cup Unsweetened Original Almond Breeze Almond Milk
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
A few chives and/or parsley leaves, minced
Boil water for the pasta. When it’s ready, salt well and add the pasta, cooking according to package directions. Drain, toss with a little olive oil, and set aside.
Cut the chicken breasts into 3 pieces each. Season the chicken pieces generously on both sides with lots of salt and pepper. Place the flour on a plate or shallow bowl, and dip the the chicken pieces in, then shake off the excess.
Set a large skillet over high heat for 5 minutes, until very hot. Pour in enough oil to coat the surface, then turn the heat down to medium-high. Brown the chicken until golden on each side, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Be sure not to crowd the pan—better to do this in two batches. Remove to a plate. (Don’t taste the chicken, it’s likely not fully cooked.
Add a little more oil, then add the eggplant pieces and cook until brown, 3 minutes, then flip and cook another 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, then push the eggplant to the side and add add the onions, pepper, and garlic, and continue cooking until the eggplant and the onions are soft, 2 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cook another minute or two, til it releases its juices.
Return the chicken to the pot, then add the almond milk.Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and cook until thickened and the chicken is done, about 5 minutes. Drizzle on the vinegar, and taste for salt. Serve over the pasta and garnish with minced chives.
This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that keep Big Girls, Small Kitchen delicious!