Chicken and Eggplant Parmesan
1 eggplant, about 1 lb., cut into 1/4-in. rounds
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, (about 3)
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, lightly packed*
Heat the broiler.
Arrange the eggplant in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Coat both sides
of the eggplant with 2 1/2 tbsp. of the oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and
1/4 tsp. pepper. Broil, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes per side.
Turn off the broiler and heat the oven to 425º F. In a large nonstick frying
pan, heat 1 tbsp. of the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken with
1/4 tsp. of the salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper and add to the pan. Partially cook the
chicken for 2 minutes per side and remove from the pan. When cool enough to
handle, cut the chicken crosswise into 1/4-in. slices.
Oil an 8-in. square baking dish. Put one third of the eggplant in a single layer
in the dish. Top with half of the chicken, half of the tomatoes, half of the
mozzarella, one third of the Parmesan, half of the basil, and the remaining 1/4
tsp. salt. Repeat with another third of the eggplant, the remaining chicken,
tomatoes, and mozzarella, another third of the Parmesan, and the remaining
basil. Top with the remaining eggplant and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Drizzle with the remaining 1/2 tbsp. oil.
Bake for 20 minutes and let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.
Note:*If basil isn't in season, don't turn to dried basil; it has little flavor.
Substitute 1 tsp. dried marjoram instead, adding it to the tomato sauce with the