Chicken With Eggplant and Swiss Chard

Chicken With Eggplant and Swiss Chard

A version of this delicious Jewish-Middle Eastern chicken dish, adapted from Joan Nathan's cookbook "King Solomon's Table," dates to medieval times. You can make it in one day, but it's best to make the chicken a day ahead, then it refrigerate it overnight and remove the layer of fat that rises to the top. (If you choose to make it all in one day, you may want to use a fat separator to strain the sauce before serving.) For more heat, add a little hot paprika or cayenne.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 6 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 375 degrees and brush a baking sheet (or two, if needed) liberally with 3 tablespoons oil. Slice tops and bottoms off the eggplants, then slice into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and arrange on a single layer on baking sheet. Brush rounds generously with some of the oil, sprinkle with a little salt, then bake for 20 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool.
  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid, warm 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic until onions are soft and beginning to brown, reducing the heat as needed to avoid burning, about 15 minutes. Remove to a plate.
  3. Step 3

    Sprinkle chicken with salt, half the allspice and half the turmeric. Add chicken to pot in a single layer, working in batches if necessary, and brown on all sides, adding oil if needed and removing chicken when it's browned.
  4. Step 4

    Arrange eggplant slices on the bottom of the pot and cover with the onions and garlic. Add more salt, the remaining allspice and the remaining turmeric, then top with chicken, chicken stock or water and dried lime, if using. Bring to a simmer, then lower heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through, then remove from heat and let cool before refrigerating overnight (see note).
  5. Step 5

    The next day, skim off and discard the layer of fat on the top of the stew. Add Swiss chard or spinach to the pot and bring to a boil. Cover tightly, reduce heat, and simmer slowly for about 15 minutes, or until chicken is heated through.
  6. Step 6

    Fish out the lime, if using, and discard. Arrange chicken on a platter surrounded by vegetables, serving sauce in a separate bowl. (Or serve the chicken, vegetables and sauce all together in a large bowl.) Squeeze lemon juice over everything and serve.