Ingredients (serves 2)
2 chicken breasts
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt & cracked pepper
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon roast garlic or garlic, crushed
2 bunches asparagus
Spiced Eggplant Puree
530g (3) small eggplant
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon roasted garlic or garlic, crushed
¼ cup cream fraiche
1 cup curly parsley
90ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
- For the spiced eggplant puree: Pre-heat 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, then peel off the charred skin. Place eggplant, cumin, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pass the eggplant puree through a fine sieve into a clean bowl. Add cream fraiche and season to taste with salt and pepper, cover and set aside or chill in the fridge overnight. Reheat just before serving.
- For the parsley oil, place parsley into a saucepan of salted boiling for 30 seconds, drain and place in iced water. Place parsley and olive oil in a blender and blitz until parsley oil is vibrant green and smooth. Pass through a muslin-lined fine sieve, placed over a bowl and discard solids. Add lemon juice and season to taste with salt and set aside or place in the fridge to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Rub olive oil, lemon zest and roast garlic over 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 the similar colour of the top. 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 chicken rest for 5 minutes before serving. Cut each chicken breast in half lengthways.
- Trim the woody ends of the asparagus then cut half of them in half. When ready to serve, steam asparagus until just tender (the asparagus cut in half will take less time than the whole asparagus), get ready to serve.
On 2 warm serving plates, spoon eggplant puree in the middle of each plate. Spoon some parsley oil near the puree and arrange chicken halves on top with the cut side facing up and thin ends in the center. Place asparagus near the chicken and garnish with parsley and serve.
*Eggplant puree and the parsley oil can be prepared the day before. Roasted garlic can be found in most supermarkets and gourmet food stores otherwise just use garlic or smoked garlic. Food grade muslin cloth can be found in kitchen shops.