Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chicken & Eggplant Parmesan

I don't think I've blogged about Mr. ShoeFanatic's garden yet? (note to self: start a post about the garden)

Well, it's fantastic. I'll get into more detail later but basically, it's producing eggplant as fast as we can cook it! Mr. ShoeFanatic requested eggplant parmesan this week and even though I've never cooked eggplant before, I accepted my challenge. The chicken was a last minute decision but an excellent one. Although, this could have easily been a great vegetarian dish.

3 med sized eggplants
Kosher salt
1 1/2 c AP flour
1 1/2 c Italian breadcrumbs
5 eggs, beaten
6-8 chicken breasts
Salt & Pepper
Canola Oil
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese OR 1 block mozzarella cheese, sliced
Fresh basil leaves
1 batch Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Rinse eggplant and peel. Cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Place a large colander in the sink. Arrange one layer of eggplant on the bottom and sprinkle evenly with Kosher salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting until all eggplant is in the colander. Weigh down the slices with a couple of plates and a vase if you have one handy. Let drain for at least an hour. (The purpose of this is to have the eggplant release some of its moisture before cooking.)

While the eggplant is draining, prepare your spaghetti sauce so it can simmer. The aroma in your kitchen will rival Sophia Petrillo's.

In a wide, shallow bowl, combine flour and breadcrumbs (you made need more than called for, depending on how many slices of eggplant you have). Pour your beaten eggs in another wide, shallow bowl. Set these aside.

Place a large, deep skillet over med-high heat and pour about half an inch of canola oil. I used a candy thermometer to watch the heat. You want it to get up to about 400 degrees before you start frying.

Dredge the eggplant slices first in the egg, then in the flour mixture (side note: the original recipe called for flour then egg but to really get a good crust on it, I highly recommend egg then flour). Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.

At this point, preheat your oven to 350.

When all your eggplant is fried, take the chicken and season with salt and pepper on each side. Dredge in egg, then flour. Get your oil back up to about 350 and place the chicken in. BUT DON'T COOK IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH! You just want to brown the outside a little. If you cook it all the way through, it will end up dry and no one likes dry chicken.

So, brown the chicken, flip and brown the other side. Then take it out and let it drain on paper towels.

In the bottom of a 9x13 inch glass baking dish, spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce. Place 6 chicken breasts in the pan (or however many you can fit). Top each breast with 2 eggplant medallions. Top eggplant with mozzarella slices. I used 3 slices per serving to make sure it was extra cheesy. I love cheese. Top the cheese with a fresh basil leaf (I also love the smell of fresh basil. I wish I could bottle it). Lastly, top each basil leave with a spoonful of spaghetti sauce.

Bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. But I wouldn't go longer than 20 minutes or your chicken will be dry.

Holy mother of all things green.

This is very possibly the best thing I have ever cooked. I don't even know where to start.

The eggplant was perfect. Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. The chicken was SO moist! Usually only Mr. ShoeFanatic can achieve that kind of moistness in our kitchen but today, I surpassed him. And when they got married in that oven with the cheese and the basil. Oh, readers. It was heaven I tell you!

We'll definitely be having leftovers tonight.

Pasta & Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Simply Recipes


  1. I will definately be trying this one. I have never cooked eggplant parm before.

  2. Ooh chicken AND eggplant parmesan? Delish!