This is a family favourite, we all love it. Some of us prefer eggplant, some of us prefer chicken. I make both and everybody is happy.
This is in all honesty is usually a leftovers dish for me. On a non busy day when there is no after school training I make a double batch of the chicken and eggplant, you don't need to double the sauce, one batch is usually enough. Then I crumb the chicken and eggplant on the non busy day, pan fry it until cooked all the way through and we eat this with the sauce and a side salad.
This is a dish that once you've made it, you don't even need a recipe. You crumb the chicken or eggplant, you make a simple tomato sauce and you top it with cheese (whatever cheese you like to eat, that melts), I don't really measure anything anymore.
Always have extra breadcrumbs on hand, in case you need it.
This recipe can be halved, doubled, tripled, make as many or as little as you like.
This is a popular and classic dish for a reason, it's simple, it's delicious and everybody loves it.
1 large eggplant
6 chicken thigh fillets
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup milk
½ cup finely grated fresh parmesan cheese
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for shallow frying
Tomato Basil Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 400g can tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
500g Cheese-mozzarella, havarti, any cheese you love to eat, that melts
Sprinkle of fresh basil or dried oregano (optional)
Cut eggplants into ½-1cm thick slices. If your eggplants have dark black seeds in them, place slices on wire racks over oven trays; sprinkle with salt. Stand for 30 minutes, rinse under cold water; drain. Pat eggplant slices dry with absorbent paper. If the eggplant does not have dark seeds, I skip this step.
If your chicken thighs have thick bits, butterfly them open with a knife so they are the same thickness all round. Season with salt and pepper.
Coat eggplant slices in flour, dip in combined eggs and milk, then coat in combined cheese and breadcrumbs. Repeat with chicken thigh fillets.
Tomato Basil Sauce: Heat oil in a medium pan; add onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until onion is soft. Add undrained crushed tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in basil.
Shallow fry eggplant slices, in batches, over medium heat, in hot oil 2-3 minutes each side or until browned on both sides and crisp; drain on absorbent paper. Now shallow fry chicken thighs, in batches, over low-medium heat, in hot oil 4-5 minutes each side or until browned on both sides and crisp; drain on absorbent paper.
Place eggplant and chicken on prepared baking tray. Top each eggplant slice and chicken thigh with about 1/3 cup of sauce. Top each eggplant slice and chicken thigh with 2-3 slices of mozzarella cheese and about 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with fresh basil or dried oregano.
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