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Patlican Sarmasi – Chicken Thighs Wrapped in Eggplant August 12, 2008

Posted by Paula Erbay in Main Dishes.

Serves 10 to 12
4½ to 5 lbs Chicken Thighs, boneless, skinless (approx weight, 20 pieces)
4 Lemons: zest from 2 of them, juice from all
1 tsp Allspice, Whole – crush with mortar and pestle
6 Garlic Cloves, pressed or mashed in mortar and pestle
1 tsp Salt

10 – 12 Eggplants, long thin
Salt to soak eggplant slices
Vegetable Oil – for frying eggplant

¼ Cup Almonds, whole, toasted – coarsely chop after toasting

2 9×13 baking pans (Pyrex)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (when ready to wrap the chicken in eggplant)

Marinate the Chicken:
Marinate the chicken in the Lemon juice, lemon zest, allspice, garlic and salt for a minimum of 2 hours in the refrigerator – turn occasionally.

Peel the eggplant in “zebra” stripes. Thinly slice lengthwise (5 to 6 good slices per eggplant). Soak eggplant slices in heavily salted cold water for about 1 hour to remove bitter juices. Drain and pat slices dry with paper towels.

Fry eggplant slices in vegetable oil until lightly golden – DO NOT OVERCOOK. Eggplant needs to be supple to wrap around the chicken thighs.

Use rimmed baking sheets, pour enough oil in pan to coat pan. Coat eggplant slices in oil in pan – there should still be oil on surface of pan (about 1/16th inch). Broil for 2 minutes, turn slices and broil another 2 minutes. Watch closely so as to not overcook!

Drain eggplant slices on rack over another rimmed baking sheet.

Select the best eggplant slices for wrapping the chicken – 2 to 3 slices per thigh. Reserve the other slices to line the baking pans. Place 2 pieces in a cross pattern. Roll one thigh into a tight piece and place on the eggplant cross. Wrap the eggplant around the chicken and place seam side down on eggplant lined pan.

Pour remaining marinade over chicken (about 1 cup total – ½ cup per baking pan). Sprinkle chopped almonds over each piece. Cover with foil and bake 30 – 40 minutes (juices should be boiling).         

Serve with Rice Pilaf
Ajvar is a great condiment with it (hot or mild, available in Middle Eastern and Eastern European markets)

This recipe is for Bette…. read Eggplants for Bette









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