Chicken Tajine with Tomatoes and Eggplant

This is a delicious dish with a robust flavor that you'll prepare over and over again! I use chopped toasted pistachio nuts but you can also use toasted almonds. If you make a slit on each side of the bone before cooking, the meat will cook faster. Serve with your favorite mashed potato recipe, cooked saffron rice or polenta.

Chicken Tajine with Tomatoes and Eggplant

for 6 servings

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 large or 2 medium sized yellow or red onions, sliced thin

3 large minced garlic cloves

2 teaspoons of good dried Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 inch of fresh grated ginger

1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 cup water

the juice of 1 large lemon, about 3 tablespoons

1 1/2 lbs of chicken thighs, skinned, with the bone in

1 large eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/2 cup of coarsely chopped toasted pistachios or almonds

some finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the eggplant cubes in a large mixing bowl and toss together with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the cubes. Spread the eggplant cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer.

Bake the eggplant in the oven for about 25 minutes, turning the cubes over halfway through the baking time, until they are crisped and golden brown on all sides.

While the eggplant is baking, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy, wide, 4 quart pot over medium heat.

Add the onions and garlic. Cover and cook about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft. Add the paprika, turmeric, coriander, pepper, cumin and ginger and stir, saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, followed by the water. Add the lemon juice and bring to a boil.

Arrange the chicken thighs in single layer over the top. Spoon some of the sauce over them. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and cover. Let simmer for about 15 minutes, then turn the chicken pieces over and cover. Simmer for another 30 minutes.

Stir the baked eggplant cubes into the chicken mixture.

Simmer uncovered for another 15 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a serving dish.

Garnish with the chopped pistachio nuts and parsley.

Adapted from a recipe in Bon Apetit magazine.

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