Recently I have been experimenting with eggplant a lot. I love this vegetable or is it a fruit? It is so versatile, and there are so many things you can do with it. I love slicing it very thinly, placing the thin slices on a baking tray, coating them with olive oil and then seasoning them with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder and baking it at 400°F for 25 minutes till the slices are crispy and just melt in your mouth. There are so many other things you can do with it, so brace yourselves for a few different posts the next few months that have this delicious vegetable/fruit as one of the key or the main ingredients. Today, it is a subtle key ingredient.
I was really excited when Peter told me they were introducing a new item – deboned chicken thighs but with the skin on, better known, especially the Israeli community, as Pargiyot. He told me it was a popular item up North and many restaurants served it stuffed with various fillings. I thought about this and decided to try combine two of my favorite foods, dark meat chicken and eggplant. The result was delicious. It was succulent and tasty and the two really complimented each other. Try it and let me know what you think.
Eggplant and Mushroom Stuffed Pargiyot
1 packet boneless chicken thighs skin on (pargiyot)
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
1 lb. sliced button mushrooms (dice them up a little more so the pieces are small)
2 cubes frozen garlic or 2 cloves garlic finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
Place olive oil in a sauté pan and sauté the onion till it caramelizes. Add the frozen or fresh garlic.
Peel the eggplant and cut into cubes. Add to the onion.
Season the mix with salt and pepper. Keep stirring from time to time so that neither the onions nor the eggplant burn.
When the eggplant is getting soft, add the mushrooms and once again add a little seasoning to the mushrooms before you mix them in.
Allow the vegetables to cook until they are all soft and well blended.
Remove from heat and allow the filling mixture to cool.
Place the pargiyot skin side down on a flat plate. Take a heaped Tbs. of the vegetable filling and place in in the center of the chicken. Spread it out a little.
Roll up and make sure that the skin is holding contents in place. ( This can be a little messy and stuffing can leak out. Just push back as much as you can, and try “seal” it up.
Place the open-side down in a casserole dish so that the roll has the skin on top to get crispy and brown. Repeat the process until all the pargiyot are filled. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat oven to 350°F and place the casserole dish in oven uncovered. Bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes depending on the size and thickness of the rolls. At this point the meat will be cooked through, but the skin will not be crispy. Turn the oven onto broil and let the chicken cook on broil for 5 to 7 minutes or until crispy and brown.
This dish is delicious served with roasted potatoes, steamed rice or quinoa and a green salad.