Parm Two Ways
My father-in-law’s birthday is this weekend so we’re celebrating with dinner tonight! I’m making chicken parmesan and eggplant parmesan, and I made extra of each so we’d have leftovers to freeze (I hope!).
I actually started the prep work this morning since it can take awhile. I don’t like not being able to socialize when we have guests over, and although I’m quite the multitasker, I’m not good at cooking and talking at the same time!
I made both parmesans the same way, just used chicken breasts for one and eggplant for the other. The eggplant parmesan takes just a little extra prep though:
First I sliced the eggplant in fairly thin slices, then salted both sides of the slices and layered them into a colander placed in a bowl.
I put a towel over the eggplant and then weighted it down to help strain out the extra liquid. (Another good use for all that PB and coconut milk in the pantry!) I let the slices sit for a bit while I got working on the marinara sauce and getting the chicken ready.
I used basic marinara sauce: stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, basil, fennel seed, red pepper flakes, and lots of Italian seasoning. I brought it all to a boil, then let it simmer away on the stove until I was ready for it.
When the eggplant was done draining (a nasty brownish-liquid came out- I wasn’t prepared for that!), I rinsed the salt off and patted the slices dry between two dishes and got to work on the coating.
I’m a little lazy, so I dumped all the slices in a bowl and poured in some egg substitute and spices: pepper, onion & garlic powders, and basil. Then I tossed the slices around in the bowl until they were evenly coated. I did the same for the chicken. (The chicken breasts I had were really thick, so I pounded them out and cut them in half before coating.)
I amused myself by trying to see how high I could throw the eggplant and still catch it (no, I didn’t drop any on the floor) I tried to catch an action shot for you:
I sautéed the chicken breasts and eggplant, then wilted a mixture of kale and spinach in the hot pan. I layered the kale and chicken in one pan, and some kale and eggplant in the other. I ended up making a couple of layers of eggplant, so it started resembling lasagna, but that’s ok.
I tossed some marinara and parmesan cheese between each layer, then laid on a thick coat of marinara. The final layer was slices of mozzarella and provolone cheese.
To round out the meal, I made a salad with romaine lettuce, pears, toasted walnuts, and feta cheese, plus a spicy sour cream-based dressing from the Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Cook. All with a warm, toasty, honey wheat baguette on the side.
I haven’t had it yet, but babka’s definitely on the menu for dessert. I can’t wait! And my friend Emily is coming over for a slumber party because she’s having some housework done. 🙂
Hope you’re having a great start to the weekend!!