Chicken Eggplant Parmesan

Why do people blog?

Me, personally, I do it as a concrete journal of my food adventures. I assume others do it for cathartic reasons probably.. or fame? The need to communicate with others? I really don’t know. But I am curious.

I got judged at work the other day for adding sugar to my tomato sauce, so I’d just like to mention here that it’s NOT WEIRD. A lot of recipes and Italian restaurants/pizza joints will add sugar to cut the acidity of tomatoes; I think it’s a necessity in making the best tomato sauces. So there. You don’t need to add it, but…you need to add it. IMO.

I don’t know anyone who hates chicken parmesan. So..

Chicken Eggplant Parmesan !

Because I LOVE eggplant. The chicken came out grrreat and very moist.

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P.S. I’m healthy! Eat me!

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2 small eggplant (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into 8 slices

2 Tbsps olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup Panko crumbs

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
4 boneless skinless chicken cutlets (12 to 14 ounces total)
4 teaspoons olive oil

1 1/3 cup canned peeled tomatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup basil
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (I just used gruyere because I had it on hand and didn’t want to make this unhealthy with too much cholesterol)
Chopped parsley and basil, for garnish

Preheat the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.

Salt the eggplant slices. Let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse with water. Saute over medium-high heat in olive oil and sprinkle with more salt and italian herbs. Remove once fully cooked and no longer bitter.

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Meanwhile, combine the flour and cayenne in a shallow dish. Combine the egg whites and 1 teaspoon water in a second dish. Combine the crumbs and parmesan cheese in a third dish. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Working with 1 piece of chicken at a time, dredge with the flour and tap off the excess. Coat with the egg whites and then place in the cereal mix and press until well coated on both sides. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

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To make sauce, combine tomatoes, herbs, and spices in a pot and lightly boil for 30 minutes or till slightly thickens and tomatoes break down.

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Mist a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the oil and then 2 pieces of the coated chicken. Cook, turning once, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 5 mintues. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray and repeat with the remaining oil and chicken.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Place 2 eggplant slices on each chicken cutlet and top evenly with the sauce and cheese.

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Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs and 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.

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