Layered Moroccanish Chicken, Chickpea and Eggplant Bowl

This is a great way to use up leftover chicken (or turkey, probably, if you are a turkey-haver)! It’s interesting, new enough to not taste blah, stretches the chicken just enough, and is quite flavorful. There’s a lot of protein in the chickpeas, so you could probably leave the chicken out if you wanted, but honestly I find it pretty dang tasty. There weren’t any leftovers and everyone asked when I was making it again! I consider that a success.

Layered Moroccanish Chicken, Chickpea and Eggplant Bowl, adapted from Melissa d’Arabian

Rice Layer:
2 1/2 c. cooked rice
1/4 c. chopped olives (I like kalamata)
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Chickpea Layer:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced (dice the whole thing, you’ll use the other half)
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
zest of 1 lemon
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste

Eggplant Layer:
1/2 eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes (or 1 particularly large Japanese eggplant)
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

Assembly:
2 c. shredded cooked chicken (warmed if serving warm)

Rice layer: Cook the rice in your favorite fashion. Stir in all the other stuff while it’s warm. (You could cook it in stock if you wanted to get fancy.)

Chickpea layer: Heat the oil in a medium-large skillet. Add the onion and cook until tender and getting brown around the edges. Add in the ginger, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric and cayenne, as well as the lemon zest, and stir around until fragrant, just 30 seconds or so.  Toss in the chickpeas and stir to coat. Taste for seasoning and set aside.

Eggplant layer: Dump the eggplant cubes in a colander. Salt liberally, toss, and set aside for 20 or 30 minutes or so while you’re doing other stuff. Dry with paper towels. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet: add the onion and cook until it’s tender. Add the eggplant cubes and toss to coat; they’ll absorb the oil, so don’t be afraid when it goes away. If the pan gets too dry, add a little more. Cook for 5 minutes or so, until eggplant is tender and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes more, until the tomatoes are just a little seared and lovely and juicy. Season to taste.

Assembly: Layer rice, chickpeas, eggplant, and chicken into an eating vessel of your choice. Nom.

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~ by iliadawry on 27 November 2012.

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