The Lighter Side of Chicken Parm

As far as I’m concerned, there aren’t many people out there who don’t love a big dish for chicken parm…all that yummy cheese and sauce – delish!  I am always hesitant to order it out at restaurants because it tends to be a bit more heavy than I prefer (think lots of breading, fried in too much oil and drenched in sauce).  So when I came across Rach’s recipe in her August issue of her magazine, I was pretty excited.

You will need:
1 eggplant, trimmed and peeled
7 tablespoons olive oil, separated
3 ounces herbed goat cheese (or you could use ricotta)
2 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless and sliced in fillets
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 large beefsteak or heirloom tomato, cut in thick slices
handful fresh basil leaves
1 cup grilled tomato relish

Cut four 1/3 inch thick lengthwise slices from the eggplant (discard ends).  Place the slices in a colander in the ski, sprinkle lightly with salt and let stand for 15 minutes; pat dry.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the eggplant and cook, turning once or twice, until golden and tender, 6 or 7 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and spread a heaping tablespoon of goat cheese on each slice.  Loosely cover with foil to keep warm.

Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and swirl to coat.  Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper and coat both sides with panko breadcrumbs.  Add to the skillet smooth side down and cook, turning once or twice, until just firm to the touch, 7 to 8 minutes.  Transfer to serving plates and arrange on top of the cheese-covered eggplant slices.

Top each stack with slices of the tomato and drizzle with the grilled tomato relish.  Garnish with fresh basil.

Serves: 4
Time: 45 minutes
From: Everyday with Rachael Ray

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