Ras el Hanout Chicken, Spiced Eggplant Puree, Roasted Carrots & Green Harissa

Ras el Hanout Chicken, Spiced Eggplant Puree, Roasted Carrots & Green Harissa

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 chicken breasts
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt & cracked pepper
1 tablespoon ras el hanout*
6 baby (small) carrots, peeled, tops cut
Eggplant Puree
365g (2) small eggplant
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic
1/4 cup cream fraiche
Green Harissa
1 tablespoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon coriander (cilantro) seed
½ cup green chilies, chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves + extra garnish
1/3 cup mint leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Method

  1. For the spiced eggplant puree, preheat oven to 250°C (480°F) or as high as your oven can go. Place whole eggplants on an oven tray and bake for 15 minutes until eggplant is soft. Remove and cool slightly, and peel off the charred skin. Place eggplant, cumin, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Once the puree is cool, pass through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Add cream fraiche and season to taste with salt and pepper, set aside covered or place in the fridge to chill. Reheat just before serving.
  2. For the green harissa, toast the cumin seed and coriander seeds in a pan over medium heat until fragrant. Grind seeds in a mortar and pestle or blitz in a food processor until finely ground. Place chili, garlic, coriander, mint, and oil in a food processor and blitz until harissa is a rough paste, season to taste. Place in an airtight container and chill overnight if prepared the day before.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Rub olive oil and ras el hanout over the chicken breast and season with salt. Place a non-stick pan over medium to high heat and add chicken breasts top side down for 3 minutes or until the chicken is browned. Turn the chicken breasts over and cook this side for 1-2 minutes or until golden. Transfer chicken to a baking tray and cook in the oven for 6–8 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  4. For the roasted carrots, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until tender and caramelised.

To Serve

On 2 warm serving plates, spoon puree in the middle of each plate. Cut each chicken breast in half length ways and place on top of the eggplant puree cut side up. Arrange 3 carrots on the side and spoon green harissa on top of the chicken, garnish with coriander and serve.

Chef's Notes

*You can prepare step 1 and 2 the day before if short on time. Ras el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend; it can be found in a gourmet food store or online. I also have a recipe on my website (on my blog) if you are unable to find it. You can add 4 green chilli’s if you like the harissa hotter.

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