One-Pot Chicken & Eggplant Parmigiana
Cook Time 1 hour
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 chicken breast ﬁllets
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
120g pancetta diced
1 medium eggplant (about 300g), peeled and cut into 2 cm pieces
1 x (400g) can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
2 × (125g) mozzarella balls, torn
3 basil sprigs, leaves picked to garnish
1 slice of day-old sourdough bread, crust removed and blended in crumbs
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
3 tbsp ricotta
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp grated pecorino or parmesan, plus extra to serve
Salt & pepper
To make the stuffing, combine the breadcrumbs, pinenuts, ricotta, egg yolk, pecorino or parmesan and a pinch each of salt and pepper and pulse a few more times to combine.
Working with one chicken breast at a time, place between two pieces of baking paper and gently pound to even out and thin a little. Be careful not to over-flatten. With a sharp knife, make a small incision in one side of the chicken breast to form a pocket. Use a dessert spoon to fill the pocket with one-quarter of the stuffing mixture. Press the seam closed and secure with a few toothpicks. Repeat with the remaining chicken and stuffing.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and seal for 1–2 minutes on each side, then remove.
Add the remaining oil and the onion, garlic and cook for 4 minutes to soften. Add the eggplant and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir to coat in the onion mixture. Cook for 6–8 minutes to lightly colour, then add the vinegar, caster sugar, pancetta and tomatoes.
Nestle the chicken into the eggplant stew and cover with the lid. Turn the heat down to low and slowly cook for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is tender and the eggplant is very soft.
Remove the toothpicks from the chicken and place some mozzarella on and around each breast and sprinkle over extra parmesan. Cover the pan and continue to cook for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Alternatively, preheat the oven grill, transfer the pan to the oven (if pan is oven safe) and grill for 5 minutes, or until the mozzarella is bubbling and golden.
Serve with an extra sprinkling of pecorino or parmesan and basil leaves scattered over the top.