Having processed a couple of excess cockerels which had started to fight here at Olive Tree Farm, I was trying to think of something different I could use the meat for.
Whilst Moussaka is usually made with minced lamb, I thought this might be a good opportunity to make use of the rich dark meat. I did make the recipe up, and made it twice just to make sure, so you can rest assured it has been well tried and tested and got the thumbs up from all my 6 tasters!
600g finely chopped chicken breasts (or minced chicken)
Olive oil for frying
1 medium white onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic grated
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 380g box of tomato Fritada Pisto
A couple of good pinches of Oregano
A splash of red wine
2 medium sized Aubergines sliced thinly
A couple of handfuls of coarse salt
Unsalted butter about 80g
500 ml Milk
45g plain flour
120g of Grated cheddar cheese
Salt and black pepper
120g of breadcrumbs
Pre-heat the oven to 200deg C.
Sprinkle salt over the slices of Aubergine and leave for around 15 minutes, this removes excess liquid from them. Tip the Aubergine into sieve when the juices start to run out, rinse well under a cold tap to remove the salt, and then dry on kitchen paper. Set aside.
Heat a large thick based frying pan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the cubed chicken in 3 or 4 batches, remove from the pan and set aside.
In the same pan add your onion and garlic and soften off on a gentle heat. Add your tomatoes and tomato fritada and then stir though the browned chicken. Add the oregano and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes, uncovered so the liquid reduces a little. Season to taste at the end of cooking time.
Meanwhile, heat another frying pan, and fry off the aubergine in olive oil in batches, turning them over so both sides are slightly brown. Set aside.
For the Bechamel sauce …… Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the flour and beat well using a whisk. Cook for 3 mins, stir constantly, taking care not to let it burn. Warm up the milk, then add it slowly while stirring thoroughly to avoid lumps. Cook over medium heat 4-5 min. Remove from the heat and blend the Cheddar cheese into the sauce.
Grease a baking dish. Add a half of the meat to the dish, then layer half of the aubergine on top, add the other half of meat, and top with the rest of the aubergine. Finally, pour the Bechamel sauce over the top and sprinkle first with the breadcrumbs and then a sprinkle of Parmesan. Bake in the centre of your pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, until the top is golden and bubbling around the edges. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.