Perhaps this was inspired by an old recipe I just posted, or by the bowl of cherry tomatoes going soft on my counter, but it was really quite delicious and summery. You can omit the eggplant if you're eggplant-phobic or something.
You'll need (serves 4):
8 chicken thighs, bone-in (remove skin & fat)
2T aleppo pepper (or paprika, if you can't find aleppo, but it's not the same)
2c cherry tomatoes, halved, and some other tomatoes too if you want
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 Thai chilies
1c basil, in chiffonade
2 small Italian eggplants, or 1 medium globe eggplant, cubed
grapeseed or canola oil
Salt and pepper chicken and sprinkle with aleppo pepper. Toss in flour, shaking off extra flour but reserving it. Heat 1T grapeseed + 1T olive oil in a heavy skillet big enough for all the chicken and place chicken former-skin-side down, in one layer, when the oil is hot. Let brown over medium-high heat-- this should take a good 15 minutes. You want a nice dark golden crust. Then turn the chicken over and cook on the other side for a few minutes. Be sure not to let the oil or chicken burn-- if the pan looks dry, add oil.
When the chicken's done remove it to a plate. Turn down heat to medium and add tomatoes and garlic, stirring to absorb fond. Add the chilies. The tomatoes will quickly release their liquid; cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
Then return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan, nestling each piece into the sauce. Cook, uncovered, about 45 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked through.
Turn off heat and stir in basil.
While the chicken is cooking, heat 2T grapeseed oil in a heavy pan (cast iron is great here) over medium heat. Toss the eggplant cubes in the leftover seasoned flour and then fry them until crispy on all sides and squishy in the middle, stirring occasionally and adding salt to taste (salt is important here).
Serve the chicken alongside brown rice, topped with fried eggplant.