Spicy Chicken and Eggplant

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This easy one-pan, one-dish dinner is healthy and tasty. It has just the right level of spice (you can adjust to your taste) and loads of flavor. I use Simply Organic curry and garam masala; you can use other brands but I could not vouch for the outcome! I adapted this recipe from an eggplant recipe on allrecipes.com.

This dish can be vegetarian or you can add meat.  I usually add chicken, and it is also ideal for using up any leftover meat you might have sitting in the fridge. If you have leftovers, substitute about 1/2 lb. cooked meat for the chicken breast in the recipe here. Chop cooked meat (no need to sauté) and add to eggplant mixture 15 minutes before eggplant is done. If you want a vegetarian meal, just leave out the meat altogether.

Eggplant and chicken are both low carb and, if you have issues with potassium, low potassium.  You can further reduce the potassium in this dish by deleting the tomato, but I think that 1/4 of a tomato per serving is acceptable for my hubby’s dietary restrictions (about 75 mg of potassium) and it really helps the flavor!  Bon appetit.

INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger (or 1 teaspoon ginger paste)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato, diced
1 teaspoon Simply Organic Curry Powder
Cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
Dash Simply Organic garam masala (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 1/2 lb. or less)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

Rinse eggplant and slice into 1″ slices. (I like leaving the skins on, but if you prefer you can peel the eggplant before slicing.) Place the pieces on a paper towel and lightly salt them. Let sit for 1 to 2 hours, allowing water to sweat out of the eggplant. Pat eggplant slices dry with another paper towel, and then cut the eggplant into small cubes (the picture below was from a large batch, where I used 2 eggplants).

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Heat the olive oil in a large wok over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them turn golden brown, which should only take about 20 seconds (do not let them burn). Add the onion, ginger and garlic; cook and stir until tender. Stir in the tomato and season with curry powder, cayenne (optional) and garam masala (optional), salt and black pepper. Cook and stir for a few minutes.

Add cubed eggplant and cook at medium heat, covered, stirring often, for about a half hour, or until eggplant loses most of its water and has darkened and softened.

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While the eggplant is cooking, season chicken breast with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Heat a medium frying pan coated with spray oil over medium high heat. Sear chicken breast in the pan until both sides are brown but middle is still pink, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove chicken from heat and let cool; cube chicken when it is cool enough to handle.

When eggplant has been cooking about 30 minutes and has lost most of its water and has darkened and softened, add cubed chicken and cook an additional 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.

Serves 4.

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