About this recipe:Simply spiced chicken fillets are enhanced by speedily grilled baby aubergines stuffed with golden-crusted halloumi cheese. Fabulous with broad beans and chunks of crusty bread. Delicious!
8 baby aubergines, about 350g total weight
175g halloumi cheese, cut into 8 slices
4 skinless chicken breast fillets, about 125g each
2 tsp paprika
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
lemon wedges, to serve
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Method Prep:10min › Cook:10min › Ready in:20min
Prepare the aubergines: Leaving their stalks in place, slice the aubergines in half lengthways. Slice each half horizontally into two layers, leaving the slices attached at the stalk end. Cut the halloumi slices in half crossways to give pieces the right size for slipping into the aubergines later. Set aside.
Season the chicken: Preheat the grill to high. Put the chicken in a large, shallow ovenproof dish or pan. Sprinkle with the paprika and add seasoning. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, then drizzle 1 tbsp oil evenly over the chicken. Turn the pieces over a few times to distribute the seasoning evenly.
Cook the chicken and aubergines: Put the aubergines in the dish, cut side up, and drizzle the remaining oil over them. Grill for 5 minutes or until the chicken is browned on one side. Turn the chicken and aubergines over and grill for a further 2 minutes.
Fill the aubergines with cheese: Slide a piece of halloumi cheese between the layers of each aubergine half, then slip the top layer slightly to one side without breaking it off so that the cheese inside is exposed for grilling. Grill for a further 3 minutes or until the chicken and aubergines are cooked and the edge of the halloumi cheese is browned. Serve garnished with lemon wedges to squeeze over the chicken.
Halloumi cheese is salty, so do not salt the aubergines.
If baby aubergines are not available, slice 2 aubergines into 8 horizontal slices each, and lay the halloumi cheese on top of the slices. Then grill as before.
Jerk chicken with plantain and pickled chillies: Sprinkle with jerk seasoning mix instead of paprika and omit the lemon zest. Instead of the aubergines, slice 4 small plantains in half lengthways. Omit the halloumi. Drain a 500g jar of pickled jalapeño chillies and add them to the grill pan when turning the chicken and plantain over. Mix 4 tbsp snipped fresh chives into 200ml soured cream or Greek yoghurt and serve with the chicken. To accompany, crush 500g boiled sweet potatoes and toss with 250g baby spinach leaves and 40g butter over a low heat for 1-2 minutes.
Great recipe! Nice and easy, minimal mess and a little different for a weekday meal! I couldn't find any aubergines so used flat mushrooms, it worked well but will definitely try and get baby aubergines next time! - 15 Feb 2010