Disclaimer: This is not an authentic recipe for shakshouka. For one thing, it includes fried chicken. For another, it uses Swiss cheese. Also, I do not plan to take sides in the various controversies as to whether the dish should be viewed as Tunisian or Israeli or whether it should be viewed as a breakfast dish or served at an evening meal. I can only reaffirm that shakshouka is easy to make and delicious.
- 4 chicken thighs
- olive oil
- ½ yellow onion,, chopped
- ¼ cup diced carrots
- ¼ cup diced celery
- 6-8 miniature sweet peppers, sliced into rings
- 4 medium crimini mushrooms sliced
- ½ cup dry vermouth
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 8 ounces chicken stock
- ¼ teaspoon ground sage
- ¼ teaspoon ground thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon powdered lemon peel
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 ounces Swiss cheese, coarsely grated
- 4 eggs
- In an oven-proof skillet (cast iron is perfect), brown the chicken thighs in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Drain off the rendered fat and transfer the pan to the middle of an oven preheated to 250°F.
- In a separate skillet, sweat the onions in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat. Stir in the carrots, celery, and sweet papers, and continue to sauté for 10 minutes until the vegetables are softened. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through. Add the vermouth and continue to simmer until the vermouth has almost completely reduced.
- Stir in the tomato sauce, chicken stock, sage, thyme, cumin, and lemon peel. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the oven. Cover with the sauce. Sprinkle with the grated Swiss cheese and return to the oven.
- When the cheese has melted, remove the pan from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F. Crack the eggs and place them in the spaces between the chicken thighs. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until the egg whites have set but the yolks are still runny. Watch carefully so that you don’t overcook the eggs.
- When the eggs are done to your liking, remove from the oven and serve immediately.