Chicken & Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 eggplant
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Quick Marinara Sauce
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- ½ tsp red chile flake
- 2 cups plain bread crumbs
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp dried oregano
- 2 cups grated low moisture mozzarella
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- Canola oil for frying
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh basil
Make the sauce: combine the ingredients for the quick marinara sauce in a small pot or saucepan and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Prepare the eggplant: Slice the eggplant in ½” thick rounds, discarding the stem. Line a colander with eggplant slices. Sprinkle the eggplant slices generously with kosher salt, coating both sides. Let the eggplant sit and “sweat” in the colander for 30 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the eggplant with cold water to wash all the salt away. Blot the eggplant dry on several layers of paper towels, gently pressing the slices to squeeze out any excess water.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat frying oil in a heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches 350 degrees.
Make the dredge: Place the beaten eggs in a wide shallow dish. Next, place the flour in a second wide shallow dish. Finally, place the bread crumbs and oregano in a third wide shallow dish. Pie plates work well for this.
Line baking sheets with paper towels and top with wire racks.
Coat the eggplant first: Coat the eggplant with a layer of four, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the slices are coated. Fry the eggplant until golden brown, draining on wire racks. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper while they are still hot.
Prepare & coat the chicken next: Cut the chicken breast into thin tenders, about the same number of tenders as eggplant slices. (I had 8 eggplant slices and 8 tenders). Pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Coat each piece in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and fry until golden and the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Drain on wire racks and season again with a sprinkling of salt.
Assemble the remaining ingredients: Alternate the chicken and eggplant in rows in a 13” by 9” baking dish. Spoon a line of marinara sauce over each row - there will be just enough sauce for this dish - the chicken and eggplant do not get a full coating of sauce to ensure they remain crisp. Top with mozzarella and parmesan and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Top with fresh basil.