One of the greatest jobs of being a food blogger is having the opportunity to review cookbooks. It just so happens that I read cookbooks and blogs everyday and try out new recipes as often as I can. Someday’s they are spot on what I imagine the recipe to look and taste like. I may have to make it again, or twice or thrice, depending on the recipe.
But sometimes, and this is rare, a recipe jumps off the page, I can imagine creating it, serving it, tasting it….. oh…yes…the flavors are incredible, how they work together, dancing in my mouth.
This really happened with this very special recipe for Chianti Eggplant Chicken Parmesan. As I was blasting Pavarotti, I imagined Ally cooking along with me. The creative, talented, inspiring creator of the new cookbook, “Ally’s Kitchen, a Passport for Adventurous Palates“.
I met Ally about 5 years ago when I started Moore or Less Cooking Food Blog Facebook page, I had about 20 followers then. Ally asked her many loved readers to check out my page and Voila! I had 100 followers! I couldn’t believe it, it was like magic.
Yes, Ally is very magical. She has the gift to take you on her magic carpet ride all around the world to savor so many different cuisines that you couldn’t even imagine tasting and feeling like you are right there in a different country. Her photography and description of her dishes are just wonderful, enticing you to create so many different savory and sweet recipes.
The Chianti Eggplant Chicken Parmesan chicken whispered to me, “make me, enjoy me”. Since I am Italian, and love anything and everything Italian cuisine, I knew that I would love Ally’s recipe. I had no idea how much I would love it. I served it to my husband, and all he could say was, “Wow.” I don’t think he spoke for another 10 minutes, just enjoying the eggplant chicken parmesan, sounds were coming out of his mouth, when he did speak, he asked, “Where did you find this recipe?” I smiled back at him and said, “It’s from Ally’s newest cookbook! Isn’t it just incredible??”.”Oh, YES.YES!”, he nodded and chewed and slurped and said, “Please make this again!”.
I know you really want to see the recipe, so here you go!!
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced horizontally into 4 thin pieces
- cooking spray
- 3 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 medium eggplant, sliced in half horizontally
- 8 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large tomatoes, cut into 8 slices
- 8 slices soft mozzarella
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
- 4 heaping tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
- 2 cups Marinara sauce ( I like Rao's)
- 2 cups greens ( baby arugula or your favorite)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, place parchment paper. Lay eggplants on parchment, face up. salt and drizzle olive oil over them. Bake in oven for 20 mins or until golden brown.
- When done, remove from oven. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.
- In a non stick skillet on medium high heat, spray cooking spray, add chicken and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with salt. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Now you will build the eggplant stacks. Place two slice of mozzarella on top of each eggplant. Coat with cooking spray. Add a couple of basil leaves. Then add one slice of chicken, 1/4 of Parmigiano cheese, and two tomatoes per eggplant slice. Coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle Italian bread crumbs over tomatoes, coat with cooking spray.
- Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. You may want to use a toothpick or skewer to hold the stacks together so that the cheese and tomatoes don't slide off. When hot and bubbly take out of oven.
- In a saucepan, heat marinara until warm.
- When serving, pour 1/2 cup marinara on plate, handful of arugula, place eggplant stack over marinara.
- Serves 4
- Serve with crunchy garlic bread or baguette. You won't want to waste a single drop of this delicious meal. sop it up with your garlic bread.
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