Pan-seared chicken thighs with roasted zebra eggplants and baby fennel salad [Recipe]


Closeup of pan-seared chicken thighs on white plate

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Reprinted from Blue Apron

This recipe comes to you from Michael Anthony, a James Beard award-winner and friend of Blue Apron. The executive chef at New York’s iconic Gramercy Tavern, he’s inspired by exceptional, seasonal ingredients. We’re proud to share his philosophy.

In this recipe, you’ll be using gorgeous, zebra eggplants and creating a crunchy, fresh salad with baby fennel. As a nod to the chef’s culinary beginnings in Japan, you’ll create a delicious glaze using miso. It’s our way of bringing a taste of this New York institution directly to your kitchen.

Makes 2 servings; about 486 calories per serving



  • 3 baby zebra eggplants

  • 1 bulb baby fennel

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 tomato

  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

  • 1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper

  • 10 ounces boneless, skin-on chicken thighs

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste



1. Prepare the ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 500°F. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Pick off the fennel fronds (the green, thread-like tops of the plant). Cut off and discard the root and stems of the fennel; thinly slice the bulb. Quarter the lemon and remove the seeds. Cut the tomato into thin wedges. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise; then, using the tip of your knife, carefully score a shallow diagonal crosshatch pattern into the cut sides (do not cut through to the skin).


2. Roast the eggplants.

Place the cut eggplants on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides; arrange the eggplants cut-side up. Roast in the oven 28 to 32 minutes, or until browned and completely tender. Remove from the oven. When cool enough to handle, using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of four of the roasted eggplant halves; discard the skins. (Leave the remaining two eggplant halves intact.) Roughly chop the scooped-out flesh; then, in a small bowl, combine with half the vinegar and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


3. Make the salad.

While the eggplants roast, in a medium bowl, combine the sliced fennel bulb, tomato, Aleppo pepper, half the fennel fronds (save the rest for garnish) and the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste; toss to thoroughly coat. Set aside as you continue cooking.


4. Cook the chicken.

While the eggplants continue to roast, pat the chicken thighs dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the seasoned chicken, skin-side down first, and cook, loosely covering the pan with aluminum foil, 5 to 7 minutes on the first side, then 3 to 5 minutes on the second side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and set aside in a warm place as you continue cooking. Carefully wipe out any excess oil in the pan, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the bottom.


5. Make the glaze.

To the reserved chicken fond in the pan, add the miso paste, honey, butter, remaining sherry vinegar and 1/4 cup of water. Heat over medium, whisking frequently, 5 to 7 minutes, or until well combined and slightly thickened; season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.


6. Plate your dish.

Spread a thin layer of the chopped eggplant onto each plate and top with the salad, cooked chicken, roasted eggplants and a spoonful or two of glaze. Garnish with the remaining fennel fronds and lemon wedges. Enjoy!


Blue Apron is a better way to cook. We send three original recipes each week, along with all the fresh ingredients you need to cook them — in exactly the proportions you’ll need. Learn more here.