I have the best intentions for recipes I bookmark, but inevitably, some excuse comes up as to why I can’t make them: I don’t have the right ingredients, or it’s too hot to run the oven for that long, or I don’t have enough time. (Similar excuses seem to arise when thinking about going to the gym, but I’ll leave that topic aside.) I got scared off by the time-intensive prep work involved in this recipe from Lidia’s Italy, even after I bought all of the ingredients! The technique was simple, but a 50 minute wait for the eggplant to be ready is too long for my hungry self after work! I started searching for a similar but simpler recipe, and came across this one from Saveur. I decided to combine them into a Franken-recipe, using chicken instead of veal and combining the simpler eggplant prep from Saveur with the more detailed sauce from Lidia’s.
The results were good, and I’ve been enjoying the leftovers all week!
2 large eggs
2 small white eggplants, peeled, and cut lengthwise into ¼ inch slices
½ cup flour
1 pound thinly sliced chicken breast, pounded
12 fresh sage leaves
6 slices thinly sliced prosciutto
6 cloves garlic, peeled
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup hot chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
¼ cup canned San Marzano plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
5 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into thin slices (can also use mozzarella, I did!)
1. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Dredge eggplant slices in flour, then dip in egg mixture and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in heavy skillet and lightly brown eggplant slices over medium heat. Remove eggplant as it browns, setting aside on paper towels.
3. Cook the chicken for 3 minutes on each side. Place in a baking pan, top with sage leaves, wrap with prosciutto, and place an eggplant slice on top.
4. Add tablespoon of oil to skillet and cook garlic until golden brown, about 3 minutes. (Lower the heat, if necessary, so the bits of flour that stick to the pan don’t burn while the garlic is browning.)
5. Deglaze pan with wine and boil until almost completely evaporated. Add chicken stock and 3 tablespoons butter and bring to a boil.
6. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and boil for about 5 minutes until the sauce is lightly reduced.
7. Pour sauce over the eggplant. Top with cheese and bake about 10 minutes at 450 degrees.
A note: I couldn’t find Fontina cheese at my local Safeway or Giant stores, even though their cheese selection is decent. If you’re a stickler for the original recipe and substituting mozzarella just won’t do, check Whole Foods. I did eventually spot some there.