Casserole of Roasted Eggplant and Chicken
(Firinda Kozlenmis Patlicanli Tavuk)
1/2 pound chicken breast cubed
2 large eggplants
3 garlic cloves
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/2 whole milk or cream, or a mixture
1 stick of cinnamon
3/4 cup Turkish cheese (Kashar, or Mozzarella) shredded
Roast the eggplants by putting them on a tray in a 400º oven. Be sure to perforate the eggplants with a fork and make holes for the steam to escape while they roast for 2
5-30 minutes till softened and charred. Then peel and remove seeds if needed and put in a colander to drain. Dice the roasted eggplant and
put in a greased oven casserole dish (not too large), and season with salt and pepper.
Sauté the cubed chicken in a skillet in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the cinnamon stick till chicken cubes are white but still tender. Do not brown. Then, add the garlic and sliced mushrooms till softened and the water is reduced out. Add the milk and season with salt and pepper. Remove cinnamon stick and add chicken to the eggplant in the casserole. Sprinkle the cheese on the top.
Return dish to oven and bake about 20-25 minutes until cheese is bubbling and golden. Excellent served with a side of rice.
SUGGESTED VARIATIONS: If you wish, you can halve the roasted eggplants and stuff the chicken and mushrooms inside each half and top with cheese. Feel free to add other vegetables while you sauté the mushrooms– such as red peppers, or cooked okra, or zucchini. Experiment with seasonings such as sumac and cumin and oregano, too.