Monday, September 24, 2012

Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant! Chicken! Eggplant! Chicken ... this went on for a while this past Sunday until I decided to make both as an all-in-one meal, satisfying both our cravings.

I am going to start off by suggesting that you make this meal either on a weekend or on a night you have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen.  It is a meal that takes a little bit longer than most but if and when you have the time I strongly urge you to try it! 

After making the dish, I found that I had leftover eggplant slices so dinner became two meals, one for last night and one already done for tonight!  The second dish I made was an Eggplant Lasagna, please check that out as well. 
Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients

1 large eggplant cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 pound chicken cutlets, pounded thin
4 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 cup nonfat ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)
2 cups grated low-fat mozzarella cheese (again, part-skim)
Tomato Wine Sauce (or use your favorite marinara. I suggest extra for serving)
 Directions
Cut the eggplant into 1/2 slices, lightly salt each slice and then line them up on a bed of paper towel then cover with more paper towel, allow them to sit for 20-30 minutes.  By doing this, the salt will help pull out the excess moisture allowing your eggplant to get crispier rather than soggy. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large baking sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up) with cooking spray.

Lightly beat egg whites with salt in a large shallow bowl.

In another large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and basil.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you do the eggplant first to avoid cross-contamination. 
Dip the eggplant slices in the egg whites, then coat them evenly with the breadcrumb mixture.

Place the breaded slices to the side.
Once you are done doing all of the eggplant slices, repeat the last two steps with the chicken - egg white dip ... breadcrumb dip ... set aside. 
In a large skillet or two, heat olive oil until shimmering hot.  Cook the chicken until golden brown on each side.  
Repeat with eggplant until all pieces are cooked and golden brown. 
Assembly time

Place 1 piece of cooked chicken on the baking sheet followed by 1 slice of the cooked eggplant.  Next add a thin layer of ricotta cheese.
Followed by a thin layer of sauce and top with mozzarella cheese. 
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is fully melted.

Serve with additional sauce of desired.
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this posting, if you have extra eggplant, which I am sure you will, you can create the same layers minus the chicken OR you can do what I did and make an Eggplant Lasagna! Click HERE for the steps.   
Listening to: The Band Perry - All Your Life
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