CHICKEN PARMIGIANA
Timescale
Weekend project
Serves
4
Difficulty 
Moderate
Not to be confused with the American Chicken Parmesan, this twist on the classic Italian dish adds shredded chicken between fine layers of griddled aubergine to create a moreish, comforting and carb-free meal.
INGREDIENTS

2 Large Chicken Breasts 

4 Large Aubergines

1 Large Onion, diced

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

200g Mozzarella

100g Parmesan, finely grated

70g Double Concentrate Tomato Puree

2 x 400g Tin of Plum Tomatoes in their Juice

1 Large Bunch of Basil, diced

50ml Red Wine Vinegar 

1 Generous Pinch of Salt and Pepper

TO COOK

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

METHOD

1. Remove the stalks from the aubergines and slice lengthways into thin slices about 5mm or as thin as you can manage. Layer the sliced aubergine in a large colander, sprinkling salt in between each layer. Leave for at least 30 minutes. This will help to draw out the bitter juices from the aubergine.

 

2. Place a large pan over a medium-high heat with a good lug of olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove the breasts from the pan and set aside.

 

3. Reduce the pan to a medium heat and add in the onion, sweat the onion for 3 minutes until starting to colour and then add in the minced garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the onions from burning. Add the tomato puree with a splash of the vinegar and mix into the pan until everything is coated with the tomato.

 

4. Add in the remaining vinegar and the tinned tomatoes to the pan and give the mixture a good stir, breaking up the tomatoes as you do. Leave the sauce to gently simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have fully broken down to give an even consistency. Season to taste

 

5. Place a large griddle pan over a medium heat. Before removing the aubergines, gently press down on the layers to draw out any remaining juices. Rinse the aubergine slices and then pat dry before brushing with olive oil and laying on the griddle pan. Lightly char the aubergines on both sides until softened and then set aside. Repeat until all of the aubergines have been grilled.     

 

6. Using two forks, shred the chicken breast as finely as possible and mix into the tomato sauce along with the chopped basil.

 

7. Preheat the oven to 180°C.

 

8. Drizzle a little olive oil over the base of a large ovenproof dish and layer in the aubergine slices, making sure to slightly overlap the slices. Spoon over a thin layer of the tomato and chicken sauce and then crumble over some of the mozzarella followed by the grated parmesan. Repeat this process until all of the eggplant and tomatoes have been used up. Finish with a final layer of the cheeses and a generous sprinkling of pepper.

 

9. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the cheese has become golden and. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.        

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