This recipe is influenced by traditional the Persian cuisine's use of sour pomegranate molasses in cooking, adding a sweet Iraqi touch with date molasses. The chicken is roasted in the rich marinade and gets a wonderful crispy caramelized glaze.
Date molasses (known as silan or date honey in Israel) is available at kosher and Middle Eastern markets. Pomegranate molasses is available at Middle Eastern markets, and some specialty and natural foods supermarkets (such as Whole Foods). When choosing the molasses, try to look for the lightest, thinnest ones.
Nutrition Facts :
½ cup date molasses (silan)
¼ cup pomegranate molasses
⅓ cup olive oil
1 eggplant, peeled in stripes and cut into 2 inch cubes
2 lb. baby potatoes, or golden potatoes cut into 2 inch cubes
6 chicken thighs
6 chicken drumsticks
Put eggplant cubes in a large bowl, cover with water and mix in 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Set aside for 30 minutes and up to two hours.
Oven to 350 degrees.
Mix date molasses, pomegranate molasses, olive oil and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in a bowl.
Wash and pat dry chicken. Drain and pat dry eggplant. In a large bowl, mix chicken and eggplant with the date molasses mixture. Spray a large oven-proof pan (I used a 12” round pan) with oil, arrange potatoes at the bottom, sprinkle with a little salt, then arrange chicken and eggplant on top of potatoes, push eggplant cubes aside so they don’t cover the chicken pieces.
Roast for 75 to 85 minutes, basting chicken and eggplant 4 times during the roasting, until the chicken is cooked through and eggplant is soft. It is crucial to baste both chicken and eggplant to keep them moist, so don’t skip that step. Let chicken sit for 5-10 minutes and serve.
This braised chicken is nutritious, filling, and packed with flavor. Save yourself some time by making a bit extra—it tastes even better the next day.
Nutrition Facts :
8 chicken thighs
10 oz eggplants
1 bell pepper
4 cloves garlic
5.33 oz spinach
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp smoked paprika powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 cup tomato purée (passata)
1.5 cups chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Slice onion and bell pepper. Peel and smash garlic cloves. Cube eggplant and rip or slice spinach into rough pieces.
Transfer eggplant to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 180°C/350°F for approx. 15 min.
Season chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Place skin-side down in an ovenproof pan, and sear over medium heat for approx. 8 min., or until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Flip the chicken thighs and sear for another 2 – 3 min. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
Add onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the pan where you seared the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let cook until onions are translucent, approx. 5 min. Add bay leaf, smoked paprika, and cumin and stir to combine.
Add roasted eggplant, tomato purée, and chicken stock to the pan. Increase the heat to bring to a simmer and squeeze in lime juice. Let cook for approx. 5 min. Nestle the seared thighs back into the pan, skin-side up, and add spinach. Let simmer for 20 min. over low heat.
Transfer the pan to the oven and broil at 200°C/400°F for approx. 8 – 10 min., or until chicken is golden and crispy. Serve with some rice and an extra squeeze of lime, if desired. Enjoy!