This chicken has a few steps to it, but the delicious results are well worth the effort. Recipe doubles or triples easily, perfect for a dinner party, which is how we enjoyed it last night with salad and saffron risotto. Buon appetito!
CHICKEN MARSALA with EGGPLANT1-2 baby eggplants (1-2 lbs.) skin on
2 medium plum tomatoes
3 lbs. chicken parts
½ lb. lean bacon
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Marsala wine
1. Cut eggplant into quarters, then into thick chunks. Sprinkle well with salt and let drain in colander for about an hour. Rinse and dry well with paper towels.
2. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Core tomatoes. Slice small crosses into each end. Dip in boiling water until skin begins to loosen, about 20 seconds. Remove from pan and peel. Cut tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze seeds out. Chop tomatoes and reserve.
3. Fry bacon in deep frying pan until crisp. Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Crumble bacon and reserve.
4. Remove all but 1 Tbs. bacon fat from pan. Add butter to bacon fat in pan. Brown chicken on all sides, in batches, if necessary, about 12 minutes. Remove chicken to baking pan (lined with foil, if desired.)
5. Add eggplant and celery to frying pan. Sauté about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, bacon, thyme, salt and pepper. Add Marsala and heat through.
6. Pour eggplant mixture over chicken. Cover baking pan with foil and bake at 350° for 1 hour. Remove foil and brown chicken under broiler. Suggest serving with saffron risotto or baby roasted potatoes. Serves 4.