Weeknight Gourmet

Chicken, Artichoke Heart & Eggplant

It’s one of my favorite dishes. It’s easy, fast, and scrumpscious; your friends will be impressed, too. But the little secret to this dish is preparation time at 20 minutes, and the cost of the ingredients at $10-$15. It’s weeknight gourmet.The key to the flavors is the eggplant and chicken simmered in dijon mustard, Chardonnay wine, and artichoke hearts. It’s delicious, and not your everyday fair, with the flavors coalescing into something special.

The recipe for this dish is found in local publication, Cooking with wine, with recipes contributed by surrounding wineries, Benzinger Family Winery, Christopher Creek, Dry Creek Vineyards, and many more. I am using Shone Farms Chardonnay purchased from the Santa Rosa Wineyard, but any medium-bodied Chardonnay will work. The Shone Farms Chardonnay has hints of oak, and is nicely balaced between acidity and fruit. It’s a real winner for this dish because it does not overpower the tanginess of the artichoke hearts, and nicely compliments the eggplant. Plus, when you cook with it, the flavors will naturally pair with the wine.  Below are the ingredients and the preparation method. It serves 2 people.

4 tablespoons virgin olive oil                                  1 small jar artichoke hearts (marinated is fine)

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts,              ½ cup Chardonnay wine

cut into bite size pieces                                              ½ to 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 medium onion, cut  lengthwise into 8 wedges                      

1 medium size eggplant, or 2 small oriental eggplants  diced into ¾-inch cubes

I am a big fan of “sweating” to release some of the eggplant’s water and make it less chewy. To do this, slice the eggplant vertically and lay the pieces on paper towels on a cutting board, or stainless steel baking dish. Salt both sides of the eggplant and leave to sit 1/2 hour. You will see water start to release around the edges.



After 15 minutes, begin the dish. Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Add chicken and saute for 6 to 8 minutes. Add onion and eggplant. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Then stir in artichoke hearts and cook for one minute more.



Add wine and dijon mustard. Cook for 5 more minutes to thoroughly mix and heat ingredients. Serve over rice and noodles. What I like about this dish is the use of eggplant, one of my favorite vegetables, wine, and the dijon mustard. It makes for a great flavor profile, and is best paired with the wine you  preapared the meal with. Enjoy!


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