Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan

I gathered the ingredients about three days ago, but it seemed like such a big endeavor that I put off making the dish until today. It's a chicken and eggplant Parmesan dish I found from

Cutting board
Baking sheet
Frying pan
Can opener
8-inch square baking dish
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch rounds (I did 4 slices each layer at 3 layers of eggplant = 12 slices)
Olive oil
Fresh-ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices
Grated Parmesan cheese
Tray of fresh basil leaves
Prior to putting it in the oven
I followed the instructions pretty closely, mainly differing just in when I did the chicken and the amount of ingredients.

First I cut the eggplant.
Heat the broiler.
Arrange the eggplant (12 slices) in a single layer on a large baking sheet.
Coat both sides of the eggplant with olive oil (I used my finger to spread it around)
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. (About two pinches of salt, and just went over each slice and turned the grinder once or twice)
Broil, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes per side.

While waiting, I cut the mozzarella into thin slices and chopped up the basil leaves.

Turn off the broiler and heat the oven to 425 degrees F.

I don't remember when, but I realized I forgot to take the chicken down from the freezer. So I got that out and defrosting.

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil over moderately high heat.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pan.

Fresh out of the oven
Partially cook the chicken. Now for this, my two pieces were thick, and not fully defrosted, so I sliced them into thirds, which was convenient, because then I had six pieces to distribute over two layers in the next step.

Oil an 8-inch square baking dish.

Layer as follows:
1/3 eggplant (for me this was 4 slices)
1/2 chicken (for me this was 3 pieces)
1/2 (i.e. 1 cup) of tomatoes
1/2 mozzarella slices
layer of Parmesan
1/2 basil
pinch of salt

1/3 eggplant (another 4 slices)
1/2 chicken (another 3 pieces, remaining)
1/2 (i.e. 1 cup) of tomatoes and mozzarella
layer of Parmesan
1/2 basil (remaining)

1/3 eggplant (last 4 slices, remaining)
layer of Parmesan
Drizzle some olive oil on the top (I poured some olive oil into a measuring cup and drizzled it onto the top layer that way).

Bake for 20 minutes and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

I Learned...
...what a baking sheet is.
...what and how to use a broiler. to quickly and safely defrost chicken: put the chicken in a bowl and run cold water over it.

Wow, like I told my friend, I'm either hungry or this is delicious. The chicken is juicy and soft. The eggplant taste great! The texture of the Parmesan and mozzarella blended with the tomato. I just finished my first quarter. And it's so great, I don't know if I want to eat more. Seems a little counter-intuitive. Maybe I can't eat more cause then I'd be overwhelmed with great flavor. Oh right, the basil probably added a hidden flavor to the dish. Drool...

I suppose if I were to present it at a dinner, I'd move the entire thing to a dish. That would also make cutting it easier. I couldn't make a clean cut through the bottom layer chicken.

No comments: