This is simple, delicious comfort food.
Packed with veggies and flavour. We love this dinner because we both leave it thick and chunky for the adults, and also put some through a quick spin in the food processor to give a ‘chicken bolognese style sauce’ for the less, ah, amenable kiddos!
It’s a pretty forgiving and flexible dish so the quantities are pretty rough!
- 5-6 Chicken boneless thighs, skin removed
- 1 tbsp garlic flavoured olive oil
- 1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
- Fresh thyme, basil and rosemary, finely chopped (or about 2 tsp dried Italian Style herbs)
- 1/2 tsp dried chill flakes (optional)
- 1 large eggplant (about 800g), diced
- 1 tsp salt
- 12-15 button mushrooms, or 6-8 larger field mushrooms, diced
- 1 cup passata
- 1 heaped tbsp tomato paste
- 2 large handfuls of fresh spinach
- ground black pepper to taste
Start with the eggplant – it needs some time to draw out the moisture to stop it going rubbery when you cook it.
Dice the eggplant, and place it in a draining sieve. Sprinkle it with the salt and leave to sit for 30 minutes. You will see lots of moisture on the surface and dripping down into the sink. Pat dry with a paper towel.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add in the onion and cook over medium heat until it starts to brown. Add in the diced chicken, sprinkle with herbs and chilli then cook over a medium heat until the chicken starts to brown.
Add in the eggplant and stir well to combine.
Now add in the mushroom and stir them through. Cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for a few minutes until the eggplant and mushrooms cook down.
Now add in the passata and paste, stir well and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Then add in the spinach and stir well to combine.
You only need to cook down the spinach for another 2 minutes before you’re ready to serve.
Serve the stew on its own, over pasta or zucchini noodles. Our kids eat this best when we pop in in the food processor and roughly process it so it is less chunky and more of a sauce. They enjoy it with pasta and little bit of grated cheese.
Makes about 6 adult serves. It freezes and defrosts fairly well, but also keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days for left over lunches.