TGIFOOD

GREEK SPINOFF

What’s cooking today: Chicken Moussaka

What’s cooking today: Chicken Moussaka
Tony Jackman’s chicken moussaka. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

This recipe takes the traditional Greek lamb or beef moussaka and adapts it to chicken. Rather than a béchamel sauce, it uses Greek yoghurt laced with garlic and lemon.

The oregano, garlic, lemon and even a hint of cinnamon (common in Greek cuisine) in this recipe ensure that this alternative take on a moussaka is very Greek in style.

In addition to layers of cooked aubergine/brinjals, I also used zucchini (courgettes), which are sometimes included in traditional moussaka. Another frequent inclusion in moussaka is potato, but I decided against that. If you do choose to add it, first steam scallops of potato until almost tender, then cool them before laying them out at the bottom of the oven dish with salt and pepper.

If minced chicken meat is not available, buy some breast fillets and ask a butcher to mince it for you.

Ingredients

800 g chicken breast meat, minced

Olive oil, as needed

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 additional garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 heaped tsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp picked fresh thyme leaves

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 scant tsp ground cinnamon

500 ml plain Greek yoghurt

2 or 3 aubergines/eggplants, sliced lengthwise

6 medium zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise

Garlic powder

1 x 400 g can chopped tomatoes

Salt and white pepper to taste

300 g grated melting cheese such as Cheddar, or Greek Kefalotyri if you can get it

1 Tbsp cornflour dissolved in 3 Tbsp water

White pepper

Coarse sea salt

Method

Sprinkle a little garlic powder, salt and black pepper on the sliced aubergines and courgettes/zucchini. Grease a heavy frying pan with olive oil spray and cook the brinjal slices for 3 or 4 minutes on each side on a moderate heat until golden brown, and set aside. Do the same with the zucchini slices.

Add olive oil to the pan and cook the chopped onions with the chopped garlic and oregano until softened. Add the minced chicken and cook, while working it with a wooden spoon so that it does not form clumps, until the chicken is cooked through. Add the chopped tomatoes along with the ground cinnamon. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring now and then to prevent sticking. Dissolve 1 Tbsp cornflour in 3 Tbsp water and stir it in, then cook for another three or four minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220℃ and grease a deep oven dish.

Take the cooked chicken off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Stir the 2 finely chopped garlic cloves, lemon juice and zest into the yoghurt and season with white pepper and salt. Stir one third of the lemon-garlic yoghurt into the cooled chicken.

Spoon half of the chicken mixture into the oven dish. Lay out half of the eggplant and zucchini, then the remainder of the chicken, then the rest of the vegetables. Spoon the remaining yoghurt on top. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.

Bake in the preheated oven for about half an hour or until the topping has turned golden and delightful. Leave the moussaka out of the oven on a rack for about 20 minutes for it to firm up, before serving. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.8% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.2% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.2% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.2%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider