Tour of Italy? Bellissimo !!

Roasted eggplant, peppers and chicken 
baked in a sweet madeira cream sauce over capellini pasta!!
Loaded with fresh basil and showered with camp de montalban! 

One of my very dear friends just left for a week long vacation to Italy. She had been talking and planning her trip for quite some time and I am so glad she finally got to go.. Her and her hubby are our very good friends and I cannot wait to hear what a wonderful time they had over there.
See when I think of Italy, I instantly think of fashionable women wearing silk scarves, fine Italian leather goods (specifically shoes), delicious heart warming food, and Vespas! .. LOL .. I know.. but what else do you expect from me ? 
So needless to say, Italy has been playing on my mind lately.. So Friday night I made a delicious meal for my family here to experience some flavors of Italy. I used home grown fresh basil, sun dried tomatoes, wine and so much more !

The dish was out right DELICIOUS, so much so that even my mom who’s not a big bone-in chicken person had seconds 🙂 …. Hope you all enjoy too!
To serve 4-6
1 bone-in chicken cut 8-12 pieces  ( I used bone-in for this for maximum flavor)
1 Medium size eggplant chopped in 1″ pieces (Roasted over open flame)
2 Red peppers chopped in 1″ pieces (Roasted over open flame)
2 Medium sized tomatoes chopped
1 Medium white onion sliced fine
2-3 cloves of garlic smashed
1 Tbsp Sun dried tomato (chopped roughly)
1/2 cup of fresh basil chopped roughly
1 Tbsp of mixed herbs (dry or fresh; Sage, thyme, marjoram and rosemary)
1/2 cup of Marsala wine (I used Madeira this time around. Please use a sweet wine)
1/4 cup of whole cream
Butter – 1 Tbsp
Olive oil – 3 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
Salt, black pepper, red chili flakes for seasoning
Roasting eggplant on an open flame
using a grill grid pan on my stove 🙂

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, In a shallow pan, heat 2- 3 Tbsp of OO and the butter. Add garlic and onions and saute for a 2-3 minutes.Add the sun dried tomatoes and the chicken and let it lay in the hot pan to get a good sear. (4-5 minutes on each side). Add the wine and the cream. Season with the dry herbs and half of the basil. Add salt, black pepper and red chili flakes. Mix all to coat the chicken well.

Transfer the chicken to a baking dish and layer the eggplant, tomatoes and red peppers on top of the chicken. Bake for about 40-45 minutes till the internal temperature of the chicken is around 165 – 170 degrees Fahrenheit.( way to check is to use a sharp knife and making sure there is NO PINK in the chicken and all the juices run clear). Every 10 minutes of baking, use a pair of tongs and move the chicken and vegetables around in the sauce to ensure even cooking. 
Chicken after baking
Garnish with left over basil and OO. The sauce will be light and thin.. Great with some hearty bread or pasta! Enjoy!! 

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