Balsamic and Sun-dried Tomato Roast Chicken

Balsamic and Sun-dried Tomato Roast Chicken

Unfortunately, autumn is technically upon us. However there are still many reasons to celebrate; most important among these is that we still have a few weeks left to revel in the glories of summer produce. Fifty-cent corn can still be skimmed off the cob to transform any salad. Seconds tomatoes can be preserved to create a relish that will make any late-night toastie undoubtedly memorable the next day. Broccoli and courgettes can still be purchased in abundance for loose change, as can silverbeet, which can be boiled down and stuffed into pastry or blended with cream and garlic to create a mouthwatering pasta sauce.

The benefits of eating seasonally go without saying. Vegetables will be cheaper and more vibrant, and your cooking abilities will rapidly improve after trying out new recipes using different ingredients. Today we have a recipe using my favourite summer ingredient: Eggplant, or “The King of Vegetables” as it is known in its native India. The King should be lingering on the shelves at affordable prices until April and is surprisingly versatile. This dish has even converted many of my previously eggplant-sceptical flatmates. Usually eggplant is prepared by sprinkling with salt and laying to rest before rinsing and cooking. However the makeshift sauce in this recipe means you can take the vegetable as is and go for it!


  • 1 medium sized eggplant
  • 600g chicken breast
  • About 12 sundried tomatoes and ¼ cup of oil from the jar (Homebrand have $5 jars)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (Pam’s is cost-effective)
  • 1 heaped tsp brown sugar

  1. Thinly slice the eggplant lengthways and cover the bottom of a ceramic or glass baking dish with the slices. Don’t worry about peeling it as the skin is thin enough to be edible once cooked.
  2. Thin the chicken breasts so that there are roughly six pieces and lay them on top of the eggplant.
  3. Scatter the sundried tomatoes around the chicken.
  4. Spoon over the oil from the jar of tomatoes, leaving enough to cover any left in the jar to keep them moist. (Top up with olive oil to make up 1/2 cup if necessary.) Mix this with the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Pour this mixture evenly over the chicken and eggplant.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for approximately 25 minutes. This cooks surprisingly quickly!
  6. Serve with creamy mashed kumara or potato and green salad.

It will cost you just over $20 to buy all the ingredients from scratch for this dish, feeding six and leaving you stocked up to make it again and again.

Maeve Jones
This article first appeared in Issue 5, 2012.
Posted 4:26pm Sunday 25th March 2012 by Maeve Jones.