Home > Recipes > Eggplant (or Chicken!) Parmesan

Eggplant (or Chicken!) Parmesan

Well, actually, it’s more like eggplant with sauce and fake cheese, because of the lactose thing, obvs. Also, we always say “parm”, rather than the full “Parmesan”, but the shortened version is ugly when written. Whatever. Anyway.

This recipe makes enough for two really hungry people (us!), or 3-4 normal people. If you eat bread and salad and a dessert, it’ll definitely be enough to feed four.

Eggplant With Other Stuff, Baked

1 good sized regular purple eggplant (the length of your forearm or a little less)

1 cup GF breadcrumbs

1 jar of awesomesauce

1 bag of mozzarella rice cheese shreds

salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

No, seriously, that’s it. I know, right? I should’ve let you know before we started this whole thing, it’s a damn process. You can’t start this at 7:30 and expect to be eating by 8:00. Even 9:00 might be pushing it. Leave wiggle room! Start out by slicing your eggplant (did you wash it? no? that’s gross.) into rounds. 1/4″ is about right, but it’s not an exact science. Sprinkle each side of each slice individually with a little bit of salt. Layer them all into a colander over your sink, and let them leak eggplant-water for about an hour. Ew. I forgot to put them over the sink last time, and just stuck the whole shebang over a cutting board, and I got eggplant-water all over my school papers. Great.

Once they’re all done soaking, squeeze the pieces dry with paper towels, tofu style. I’ve found that the most effective way to do this is to put down two sheets of paper, put a single layer of eggplant slices on top, and then use another sheet of paper towel to squeeze from the top. Repeat as needed until you’re done with all of them. Time suck, right? I told you.

Preheat the oven to 425. Get your breading station all set up. If you’re not vegan, you can feel free to use an egg wash for this. We always just use sauce. So! Put a sheet of foil on a cookie/jelly roll sheet. Use two if you have a lot of eggplant, so they can all cook together. Into the first plate, dump about a cup of sauce (or egg wash). Into the second, some bread crumbs seasoned with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (unless you like spice, and fun). Start breading- dunk a slice of eggplant into the sauce, making sure both sides get wet, and then into the breadcrumbs, and then put it right onto the foil. Keep going. When you’re all done setting up the eggplant, stick ’em in the oven. After 20 minutes, check on the slices- flip them over, and then flip the sheets themselves.  Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the eggplant is nicely browned and crispy.

In a big glass casserole dish, start layering your ingredients. Sauce, eggplant, cheese, sauce, eggplant, cheese- until you run out of something, or you run out of dish. Put the whole thing back in the oven, and bake until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted.

You don’t have to make pasta for this, it’s definitely enough on its own, but if you do, it’s a good idea to start boiling the water around when you preheat the oven.

The Chicken Version

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or whatever cut of chicken you really like. thighs are my fave.)

1 tbsp olive oil

everything else is the same!

Heat the oil in a big skillet (cast iron if you have it!) on your stovetop, set to medium. As soon as you feel a good amount of heat when you put your hand over it, put all of the chicken in the pan. Season with salt and some pepper, and cover to cook. Check after about six minutes- if the chicken has turned mostly white, turn it over. If there’s still lots of visible raw chicken, let it go for another few minutes. After turning it, cover the pan again and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Poke it with whatever utensil you’re using- if the chicken feels firm all over, it’s done. If it’s squishy, let it go again for a bit. When it’s done, remove it from heat and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Slice it into strips.Preheat the oven to 400. Set up your breading station again- this time, you might not need sauce/egg because of the oil (and fat!) on the chicken. Bread the chicken, stick it in the oven, cook for about 10 minutes. When it gets goldeny brown, it’s done! Layer the bake like in the eggplant above- sauce, chicken, cheese, etc. Bake until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted. Yum.

We make this pretty often, actually. It’s wicked cheap, and super rewarding. Even though it takes a lot of time, it’s completely worth it. Don’t skip the draining step with the eggplant- it’s a really watery fruit, and if you don’t drain it first, it’ll just be soggy and awful. You don’t want that, do you? Haven’t you ever had bad eggplant? This isn’t bad eggplant.

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