Did you know chicken is a traditional Yom Kippur meal? But it can be kind of boring. Grilled Chicken with Eggplant will fill you up and tastes delicious thanks to an addicting Romesco sauce you will want to slather on everything. And I won’t stop you!
Hey, guys! Hope y’all had a lovely Rosh Hashanah. Tell me. Did you cook anything amazing?? I got a lot of emails from you asking what I was making this year, so here is my Jew Year confession. I actually didn’t do the cooking this year! (Hangs head in shame.) But I did do the eating (and a little drinking). Chicken, matzah ball soup, honey spice cake, it was all delicious. And I’m definitely cooking up something special before the Yom Kippur fast.
As I mentioned last week, I’m excited to pair up with Empire® Kosher for crafty uses for poultry, and sharing some recipes on WJWE and Empire’s Facebook page. Empire makes some of the best chicken around. Totally kosher, humanely and sustainable raised on family farms with no antibiotics ever. Even if you don’t keep kosher, we are all concerned with what we are putting in our bodies these days, right? Right.
Fall has the trifecta (hat trick if you will) of Jewish recipes all with their own coordinating food. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Yom Kippur is up next! Now, this is a fasting holiday, to repent for our sins from the year before. (AKA no eating for over a day.) But before the fast, we feast! Chicken is a popular choice as it’s a filling protein but won’t weigh you down the next day. You want a meal that is satisfying, but won’t leave you thirsty. I’m here to help.
This Grilled Chicken and Eggplant with Romesco Sauce has some Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors that just work together. I made the Romesco sauce using fresh ingredients, but give options for canned too. And the grilled chicken and eggplant can be oven roasted too. It’s pretty versatile depending on what you feel like doing! So no excuses, it’s perfect for Shabbat or all year round.
These bone-in thighs are super juicy and flavorful thanks to a cumin marinade.
You’re going to want to drink this sauce. I’m not judging you.
If you have leftovers? Shred the chicken and put it with the eggplant and Romesco sauce on a baguette. Lunch is served.
- For chicken:
- 4 Empire® Kosher Chicken Thighs (skinless, bone-in; or double the recipe using your favorite Empire® chicken roaster)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- For Romesco sauce:
- 2 red bell peppers (or 1 cup jarred roasted tomatoes)
- ½ cup blanched hazelnuts or almonds (I used hazelnuts)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and diced (or ⅓ cup canned tomatoes)
- 1 cup crusty day old bread (I used a baguette. You can leave this out to make it gluten free), cut into 1 inch chunks
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
- Kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
- For eggplant:
- 1 large eggplant, cut into at least 8 slices
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- Diced green onions (the green parts)
- Cilantro or parsley
- Diced hazelnuts or almonds
- Lemon zest
- Wash and dry your chicken and set aside. Then make the dry rub by combining cumin, paprika, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Drizzle chicken in olive oil and coat in dry rub. Cover chicken and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Make the Romesco sauce next. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with foil and place peppers on the pan. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until well charred, rotating halfway through. Carefully place peppers in bowl and cover for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, cut peppers into quarters, peel, and discard seeds and stem.
- Meanwhile, place nuts on a separate foil lined cookie sheet and roast until fragrant. Cool.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add olive oil and heat. Then add tomatoes, bread and garlic and sauté until garlic is fragrant, and tomatoes are soft. Cool.
- Place all peppers, nuts, tomato mixture, apple cider vinegar, and paprika into a food processor and puree until smooth with some chunks. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the sauce is very thick, add a little water to thin out.
- Then, cook your chicken and eggplant. For the eggplant, drizzle slices with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and cumin. Either grill until chicken is 165 degrees F and eggplant is tender, or brown chicken in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté or grill pan on both sides. Finish cooking in the 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until the chicken is 165 degrees F and juices run clear. Roast eggplant 15 minutes on a foil lined cookie sheet or until tender.
- Serve chicken over eggplant slices with Romesco sauce, green onions, cilantro, hazelnuts and lemon zest
I partnered with Empire Kosher on this post. Thank you for supporting WJWE!