You can easily substitute chicken in this eggplant parmesan recipe and have a gourmet version of Chicken Parmesan (or Chicken Parmigiano)! What a concept, huh?
Brown the chicken in olive oil on all sides before building the dish to help it hold moisture and for it to have that lovely "seared" taste. Keep everything else the same.
New Italian Recipes Presents:
¼ cup olive oil
3 cups homemade tomato sauce
2 large, fresh eggplants, peeled and sliced diagonally, in 1/3 inch slices.
2 eggs, lightly beaten.
2 cups seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
2 red bell peppers, roasted with the shins removed. (Roast on grill or directly on stove burner, cool, then remove skins. Or, just buy them already roasted.)
¾ cup parmesan or parmigiano-reggiano, shredded or grated.
¾ lb. pecorino Romano (ewe’s milk) cheese, either thinly sliced or grated.
1 cup homemade pesto sauce.
3 T oregano
1 T whole black pepper
1 T lightly toasted fennel seeds
Preparation for the eggplant parmesan:
Pre-preparation of the eggplant:
Season eggplant slices with salt on both sides. Then stack eggplant slices in a colander in the sink, place a small plate over them, and place weight (we use a large, full food can or 1.5 liter bottle of wine) over them. Let stand for about ½ hour. (This will leach out some of the potential bitterness.)
Remove and wipe off with paper towel to remove excess salt and released juices.
While the eggplant is being prepped, prepare the homemade tomato sauce. Tomato Sauce additional “touches”:
Prepare your fabulous eggplant parmesan according to recipe, including the brandy and lemon juice addition.
Grind the dried oregano, whole peppers and toasted fennel seeds together.
Add to the tomato sauce when you add the tomatoes.
Sauté the Eggplant:
Heat 1/3 of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium.
Depending on the size of your skillet, you will prepare the eggplant slices in about 3 batches.
Dip each slice, first in the egg, then in the breadcrumbs to coat.
Sauté in olive oil until browned on both sides.
Finishing preparation of the eggplant parmesan:
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a 9x 13 inch baking dish either sprayed with oil or buttered, place enough eggplant to cover bottom in a single layer.
Next, slice the roasted red bell peppers into thirds and layer over 1st layer of eggplants.
Spread the pesto sauce over the bell pepper layer.
Spread the pecorino Romano over the pesto to form a layer.
Spread the remaining eggplant to form another layer.
Slather the tomato sauce over this final eggplant layer.
If you have any leftover breadcrumbs, layer them into the dish here. (We usually just add some anyway. A very thin layer.)
Top with the parmesan or parmigiano-reggiano.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until topping cheese is nicely toasted and dish is bubbling.
Let it rest for 10-12 minutes before serving.
The dish needs to rest so it is easier to slice.
Buon appetito always!
Brought to you with love from
Aunt Aletha and Dear Old Dave
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Eggplant (or Chicken) Parmesan (Parmigiano)
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