1 large eggplant (about 1-1/2 pounds), cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
8 roaster boneless thigh cutlets
Salt and ground pepper to taste
1/2 – 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 cups sliced red onions
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons honey
Grated rind of 2 oranges
1 can (16-ounces) whole plum tomatoes, drained and cut into thin strips
Minced, fresh parsley and basil (optional)
Sprinkle eggplant with salt; let stand 30 minutes to extract liquid; rinse and pat dry. Trim off any fat from thighs and cut into 2-inch pieces.
Preheat oven to 350oF. In large heavy skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add chicken, half at a time; saute 2 to 3 minutes until lightly browned, adding more oil if necessary. Remove pieces with slotted spoon to large, covered casserole or baking dish. Add 2 to 4 tablespoons oil to skillet; stir in eggplant and cook 5 minutes until golden, adding more oil if necessary. Add to casserole.
Pour vinegar into skillet, scraping and stirring to remove pan glaze; add garlic, cinnamon, honey orange rind, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour vinegar mixture into casserole. Cover and bake 15 minutes. Stir in tomato strips, re-cover and bake 15 minutes longer. Garnish with minced parsley and basil, if desired. Serve with hot crusty Italian bread.
PHOTO: Roaster Thigh “Rice Birds”
Chicken Recipes – The Perdue Chicken Cookbook
Copyright (C) by Mitzi Perdue – Used with Permission