Chicken, Tomato & Herb-Stuffed Eggplant

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Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side

Ingredients

  • 4 Smart Chicken boneless skinless thighs 

  • 2 medium eggplants, split lengthwise 

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper 

  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

  • ½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts 

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil 

  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 

Directions

Preheat grill to medium heat (about 350˚F).

Drizzle the chicken and eggplant with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant skin side up for about 5 minutes; flip and grill skin side down for another 5 minutes. Remove from grill and set aside.

Turn the grill up to medium-high heat (375˚F). Grill the chicken thighs 7 to 8 minutes per side, until 165˚F, and set aside. With a large spoon, carefully scrape out the pulp of the eggplant, being careful not to tear up the skin. Transfer the pulp to a cutting board. Transfer eggplant boats to a parchment-covered baking tray.

Preheat oven to 425˚F. On a cutting board, chop the eggplant pulp and chicken and transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Add the garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts, parsley, basil, tomatoes, and lemon juice and combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Carefully stuff each eggplant boat with mixture. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the eggplant is golden brown. Top with grated Parmesan, if desired. 

Recipe created by Chef Ben Maides | Au Courant | Omaha, Neb.