When Shaya was eating this dish in his mother-in-law Rachel’s house, he asked his wife Raizel, “Why don’t you make this as good as your mom does?”
Raizel answered, “Because you told me you’re on a diet, and I listened!”
Raizel had attempted a low-fat version of this dish. A good wife does as her husband asks. And a good mother-in-law keeps her son-in-law spoiled with good food. —Victoria Dwek
Preheat oven to broil. Grease a baking sheet.
Cut eggplant lengthwise, ¼-inch thick, to get 6 or 7 slices. Reserve remaining eggplant scraps.
Place eggplant slices on prepared baking sheet. Brush slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil 5 minutes per side, until second side is beginning to brown. The slices should appear as if they were fried. Remove and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Peel and finely dice remaining eggplant to obtain half a cup of diced eggplant.
Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and diced eggplant and sauté until soft, about 5–7 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine this onion mixture with ground meat. Season with salt and garlic powder.
Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture into each thigh and roll up to close.
Roll an eggplant slice around each stuffed chicken thigh. Place, seam-side down and close together, in a baking pan.
Cover and bake for two and a half hours.
To prepare in advance, stuff the chicken with the meat mixture and wrap in the baked eggplant. Cover tightly and freeze until day of serving, and then bake as instructed.