Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's Cooking Wednesday - Chicken and Eggplant Stacks

Me, Rach and the family have pretty much eaten out every meal since we arrived back in our home state. Cheap, awesome Mexican food, grilled fish, fresh gumbo, crab craws, BBQ, sautéed shrimp, Panera Bread, breakfast buffets, Crawfish Po-Boys...oh the delicious food we have all eaten in the past few days. But no matter how the good the food is, there is always a part of me that says "OK, can we stay in tonight and eat a home-cooked meal?"

That's how I felt when we got back to my parents house. So me and Rach made a trip to the store and bought a few things to make Chicken and Eggplant Stacks for dinner Monday night. As I was putting the meal together, I suddenly realized that this was one of my favorite meals and that I haven't shared this one with you yet. I apologize because this is a meal that you can entertain with. Pair it with a Ceasar salad and creamy pasta dish and you have a winner. I took a picture of these before they were complete so that you can see what the stacks look like before I smother them in melted cheese.

Grilled Chicken and Eggplant Stacks

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

4 chicken breasts, halved, tenderized with a meat mallet until thin

Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped

Salt and fresh ground pepper

1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch width slices

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/4 t. crushed red pepper

1 16-oz can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes

(regular crushed or diced tomatoes work too if you can't find fire-roasted)

1 package (8 slices) of provolone or mozzarella slices

Preheat a grill to high (Sometimes I will use a pan on the stove if I don't feel like messing with the grill). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium sauce pan, combine 1 T. olive oil, garlic, red pepper and red onion. Cook over medium heat until onions are tender. Add tomatoes and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat.

Spray or brush eggplant slices on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle slices with salt and fresh ground pepper. (I dunk my eggplant in some extra balsamic vinegar for a few seconds, but I really love balsamic vinegar so this is optional) Set aside. Combine balsamic vinegar and 2 T. olive oil in a bowl. Marinate chicken in mixture for about 5 minutes, remove from marinating bowl and sprinkle and rub the chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper and set aside.

Throw the eggplant on the grill until tender. Remove from grill. Place on greased baking sheet. Throw chicken on the grill. Cook until done and place chicken on top of eggplant on the baking the sheet.

Remove eggplant and chicken from the oven. Preheat broiler to high. Spoon about 2 T. of tomato mixture over the chicken and eggplant. Place a slice of cheese over each stack and return baking sheet to the oven until cheese is melted.

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