2 medium eggplants
2 medium red bell peppers
1/3 cup olive oil, more if needed
1 chicken cut into 10 pieces (breasts into
two) Or about 2 pounds boneless
skinless thighs or breasts
2 large sweet yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, grated or finely
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon cumin (optional)
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup chicken stock or water
1 cup diced canned tomatoes
1 cinnamon stick
½ preserved lemon skin finely diced
(optional) or juice of half lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1. On bbq or in the oven, roast eggplants and bell peppers until the skin is charred on all sides.
2. Place grilled peppers in a bag for 30 minutes and then peel skin, stem and seeds off.
3. Place the eggplants in a colander for 15 minutes to cool and drain juices, peel skin off and sprinkle with coarse salt. Let sit in colander for an additional 30 minutes to drain additional juices.
4. Rinse chicken and dry well with a paper towel
5. In a large cast iron or heavy pan or tagine, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, then sauté until golden brown.
6. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Add oil to the pan, brown the chicken on the skin side or all sides if using skinless and boneless.
7. Cut the eggplant and remove the stem and any large parts that are filled with seeds. Chop the flesh into cubes and set aside.
8. Remove the chicken and set aside. Place the onions in the pot and add the spices. Sauté for two minutes, add the tomato paste and continue to sauté for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, then add the eggplant and mix to coat all the pieces with the tomato and spices and onions. Cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes.
9. Add the chicken pieces on top of the eggplant mixture and add half the stock or water, cover and simmer for an hour, occasionally checking to see if more liquid is needed.
10. Chicken should be tender and falling off the bone and eggplant should be jammy.
Serve with rice or crusty bread or challah.