Chicken and aubergine cake: an innovative recipe to fight the boredom
I assume that if you regularly read the blog you are a dedicated home cook. This said, let me ask you one question: do you easily get bored of cooking the same things day in day out? And when this happens, do you struggle to innovate?
Some time ago I was one of those people that always ate the same meals: pasta with tuna, egg and olive oil; rice with chicken and vegetables; cous cous with lamb; potatoes salad… All plain, simple and repetitive-maybe motivated by my obsession for cutting down calories back then. It took me a while to realise I did really enjoy cooking at home, trying new things and pushing my boundaries in order to gain new skills. I am not lying if I say that I have recently learnt to cook most of the recipes I have posted here-particularly, stews and one-pots.
I don’t think today’s recipe can be categorised as traditional Spanish. Even though Spain is Europe’s second largest aubergine producer country, you will not find it in the books. This chicken an aubergine cake is another fantastic creation of Canal Sur’s Enrique Sanchez, an already widely mentioned chef in this blog because of everything he does. His cooking is definitively influenced by the classics, but he always finds the way to make a tweak against the original recipe-or, in a different scenario, combine ingredients to create magnificent recipes.
If you want to try something different and have time to spend in the kitchen this recipe is right for you. In Spain, we love rolling things over, but I have never seen doing such thing with vegetables. After trying it for first time I know I will repeat.
Chicken breasts (2)
Red pepper (1)
Mature cheddar cheese (100 g)
Pistachios (a handful)
Canned tomato (3 tbsp)
Bread crumbs (1 tbsp)
Dill (a handful)
Garlic clove (1)
Bay leave (1)
Cut the aubergines in very fine slices as if you were cutting a loaf of bread. Line them up in a baking tray (with baking paper) on top of each other. Add salt and bake in the oven at 180 Celsius for 15 minutes.
2. In the meantime, boil the chicken breasts with some olive oil, salt, pepper and a bay leave. After 15 minutes, when they are completely white, remove from the heat and pull them. Set aside for later.
3. Put the garlic clove, the dill and a generous amount of olive oil in a blender beaker. Grind all together until you achieve a green liquid. Take the aubergine tray out of the oven and brush it with it.
4. Not it’s time to populate the aubergine layer with the rest of the ingredients: the red pepper (chopped), the cheese (diced), the chicken (pulled, as we said), the pistachios (in whole, just without the shells), the tomato and the bread crumbs. Just make sure you leave one of the ends free so it makes the rolling much easier.
5. Carefully roll the layer against itself. Help yourself with the baking paper and press gently after you roll. Once it’s perfectly sealed, decorate with some grated cheese, ground pistachios and a teaspoon of bread crumbs.
6. Bake in the oven at 200 Celsius for 20 minutes. Then it will be ready to serve.