Chicken With Eggplant (Lidia Bastianich)

READY IN: 1hr 20mins




  • Preheat oven to 400ºF degrees.
  • Trim the eggplants, and peel if you prefer. Lidia stripes them,
  • Slice on an angle, so that you have 12 good slices in all.
  • Dredge the eggplant in flour that has been seasoned with salt, pepper & Italian seasoning.
  • Heat a large skillet (preferably with a lid), add enough oil to coat the bottom, and fry the eggplant on medium-high heat until caramelized on both sides.
  • Set aside on paper towels to drain while you make the chicken.
  • Lightly pound the chicken breasts and dredge in the seasoned flour.
  • Reheat the same skillet on medium heat, add two tablespoons of oil and tablespoons of butter, swirling to mix.
  • Cook the chicken until caramelized on the one side.
  • You want the chicken to brown--but do not try to hasten the process by cooking it on high heat.
  • You want to do it over gentle heat so as not to toughen the meat.
  • Turn them over to caramelize on the other side, and top each breast with two slices of eggplant, then a spoonful of sauce, two basil leaves, and a good sprinkling of cheese, and as much Italian seasoning as you want.
  • Let cook for about two minutes, turn up the heat to medium-high, add the wine to the pan, then the remaining tomato sauce.
  • Shake the pan a bit to mix, add in the last two tablespoons of butter and shake again to mix.
  • Put the lid on the pan (if your pan does not have a lid, cover with foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray) and finish cooking in the oven--approx 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and serve with a flourish.
  • Try to use homemade tomato sauce, this is one of those dishes where you will be greatly rewarded for using the homemade sauce.
  • To cut down on the fat/calories, you can grill or roast the eggplant instead.
  • It is this final oven cooking that makes the chicken meltingly tender and the wine, tomato sauce and butter transform themselves into an incredible sauce.