Chicken with eggplant and chickpeas

Today is my 33 rd birthday.

I have never been one to hide my age, fear it, or worry about it.To me age is just a number. A number to stop by and look back, at childhood and teenage years left behind.Check the dream list  and see what has been checked off ,what has been forgotten and what is still waiting. To look back at an image in young eyes of what my life would be like at this age and then look around and see how does reality compare to the expectations.

I look around and to most of the people I know getting older means becoming boring stiff people.They lose the spark in their eyes,they lose their dreams,they let go of hope and adventure and live in “reality”.Growing up also seems to includes abandoning all childish joys because they are “silly and unbecoming of someone at your age”.How on earth did pure and innocent and simple become silly?
What is wrong with watching cartoon or playing on the swings every now and then and when did going for a walk in the rain and laughing when the rain drops tickle your face become outlawed for adults!

I don’t like this version of “growing up”. Growing up should mean more maturation , a deeper understanding of life, people and most importantly a deeper understanding of one’s self. More tolerance and patience for the bumps in the road and the hardships in life. Knowing that you can get up after a fall and that a u turn is the end of the road only when u fail to make a change in direction.

I seem to have managed to make it through one more year of my life with out “growing up” as most people seem to define it 🙂 and I thought I’d share these thoughts with you along with a question: what does your birthday mean to you? do you fear it? look forward to it? By the end of the day when you put your head on your pillow, what do you think about?

I am in love with eggplants! I love it in salads, sandwiches, pizza and  rice dishes but today I wanted to try something new.This chicken with eggplant and chickpeas  recipe  is a blend between a Moroccan dish I saw at Epicurious and a turkish recipe on delicious bite. I loved the Moroccan blend of spices and I was sure it will add a blast of flavor to the chicken , the addition of chickpeas and mint to the turkish version seemed to make a lot of since and I thought why not combine them both. The end result was amazing! the chickpeas added texture and richness to the taste, while the spices and mint really brought the dish to life.

Before I get to the recipe I would like to remind you that you can still enter the giveaway to win one of two albertson gift cards here. And I would like to thank Anna Deskins who  is a talented children book author and mommy blogger for interviewing me on her website. Anna has a passion for getting parents to read for their kids. Thank you Anna for the interview 🙂

Chicken with eggplant and chickpeas

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

one big sliced onions

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cups diced tomatoes

1/2 cup water

2 boneless skinless chicken pieces (breasts of thighs) cut into cubes

1 cup chickpeas cooked or canned

1 large eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 teaspoon dried mint

Chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large wide pot over medium heat.

Add onions and garlic. Cover and cook until onions are soft.

Add paprika, salt, turmeric, coriander, pepper, cumin, and ginger; stir 1 minute.

Add the chicken and stir occasionally until the chicken is done (you know by trying to divide a piece with your spoon, if it divides easily, it’s done)

Add the eggplant and stir for 5-7 minutes

Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and water then bring to boil.

Simmer uncovered 10 minutes to  blend flavors.

Add the mint and marjoram and check the taste for salt and pepper.

Transfer  to large shallow bowl.

Sprinkle with cilantro

Serve with rice