Birdie nam-nam

Roasted chicken is one of my favourite comfort dishes. It's simple, homely and fills your house with the most wonderful smell. If I don't know what to make for dinner and I'm in the mood for easy and stress-free yet filling and "robust" food, chances are I'll end up making roast chicken of some kind. The flavorings vary: sometimes it's lemon and parsley, sometimes it's chorizo and peppers.

Of course you could use a whole chicken as well (I usually do, but my store didn't have any today) and adjust the cooking time accordingly. One thing though: I think the kind of mozarella I used melted quicker than normally, so you might want to roast the eggplant for a while first, get it out and add the cheese, and then put it in the oven for a few minutes again to let the mozarella get warm. I ended up with an awful lot of melted cheese all over my baking sheet and the eggplant was not completely done.

Roasted chicken with tomatoes, eggplant-mozarella towers and potatoes

Serves 2, and leaves extra for lunch boxes

1 kg chicken legs
250 g cherry tomatoes
As much garlic as your want (I used about 5 cloves)
Half a dried red chili pepper
1 tsp thyme (dried)
A couple of potatoes (maybe 3 per portion)
1 eggplant
125 g buffalo mozarella
Salt and black pepper
Olive oil

Put your oven to 200 degrees C. Place the chicken legs in a snug fitting pan. Poke a small hole in each of the cherry tomatoes. Peel the garlic. Place garlic cloves and tomatoes on/around the chicken. Cut up the dried chili pepper in small pieces and sprinkle it on top of the chicken (I dry my own chilies by hanging them on pieces of string in a pantry). Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Put the chicken in the oven and get to the potatoes.

Wash the potatoes, but you don't have to peel them. Slice them about ½ cm thick. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and give the salt grinder a good couple of turns . Put the potatoes in the oven (under the chicken) when the chicken has cooked for about 15 minutes.
Slice the eggplant ½ cm thick in an even number of slices (I got 12). Slice the mozarella in half that amount (i.e. 6 for me). Place a slice of mozarella on an eggplant slice, cover with another eggplant slice, drizzle olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. As I said above though, you might want to bake the eggplant for a while before adding the mozarella. Bake until the eggplant is done and the mozarella is melting (but not competely runny). Make sure the chicken is cooked through before serving. I put the eggplant-mozarella thingies on top of each other to make little "towers" but of course you don't have to.

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