Chicken and Eggplant (Aubergine) Rolls

READY IN: 50mins




  • Cut the eggplant lengthways into thin strips, finely chop the chicken (I find it easier to cut the chicken with kitchen scissors), peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a pan, preferably non-stick, and sauté the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, or until soft; add the chicken and sauté until browned and cooked through.
  • Transfer to a bowl, season to taste and allow to cool slightly. Stir in the basil, lemon zest and cheese.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the cleaned pan, add the eggplant slices in batches and sauté for 3-4 minutes, turning until browned. Remove and keep warm on a plate covered with foil. Repeat the process with the remaining oil and eggplant slices until all of them have been browned.
  • Lay the eggplant slices on a work surface, and spread with the chicken mixture (do not overfill the eggplant slice or the mixture will ooze out the sides when you roll it), and roll (Swiss-roll style) to enclose the roll and secure it with a cocktail stick, so that the stick is flat and woven once through the eggplant slice where it closes.
  • Add the sauce to the cleaned pan and heat until simmering, add the rolls, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until they are heated through.
  • Transfer to a warmed serving plate. You may like to remove the cocktail sticks at this stage. Garnish with basil and serve.
  • Chef's note: I rarely salt eggplant before using it, and haven't found it to be necessary in this recipe; but if you prefer to do so, add in that step. If you have any slices of eggplant left over once you have made your rolls, chop them roughly and add them to the sauce in step 6. If you have filling left over, use it to stuff another vegetable: a tomato or mushroom would be ideal. Refrigerate until you have time to deal with it!
  • Vegetarian Variation: For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with 350g (12 ounces) of fresh spinach. Wash,dry and finely shred the spinach, then add to the pan in step 2 with the onion, and heat until wilted. Or for a quicker version of this, use a thawed and thoroughly squeeze-dried packet of frozen spinach. And add a pinch of nutmeg, cumin or cinnamon.