Chicken With Eggplant (Lidia Bastianich)
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Saw Lidia preparing this dish but didn't listen to the amounts in the recipe. So, I placed a request in the Recipes Forum and 1Steve was kind enough to send me this link. It was posted in Flavor Junkie's October 4, 2006 blog.
- Ready In:
- 1hr 20mins
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded
- 2 medium eggplants
- oil (for frying)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups tomato sauce (preferably homemade)
- 1⁄2 cup grated romano cheese
- 12 leaves fresh basil (we used parsley, we don't do basil)
- italian seasoning, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 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.
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