tonight, we were kinda fumbling around about what to get for takeout, and i thought of my promise to cook more, waste less, save money.
so i dug in the upstairs fridge and found some boneless skinless chicken breasts hiding that dw forgot about
, and an eggplant, so i decided to make gratinata of chicken and eggplant (adapted from an episode of lidia bastianich's show), with a side of whole wheat pasta.
it came out fantastic. i've never used white wine when making red sauce, but it was really good. this started out as a white wine and butter with sage, but i was in the mood for a tomato sauce.
so i floured some 1/4" eggplant hockey pucks, and toasted them in a large deep skillet in evoo over medium heat. they were set aside, and i seared the pounded thin chicken breasts in evoo in the same pan over high heat, and were set aside with the eggplant. in went 5 cloves of smahed and rough chopped garlic with another tbsp of evoo, toasted golden for just a minute, then i added 1/2 bottle of pinot grigio delle venezie and deglazed the pan on high heat. when the wine boiled, i added 4 bay leaves, and a pinch each dried herbs, including: rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, marjoram, and savory, and a big pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.
i let the wine and herbs reduce a little, then in went about 3 cups of hand crushed san marzano canned tomatoes. the sauce was stirred until simmering, then 1/2 of a small can of tomato paste added to thicken it up.
when the paste was incorporated, the breasts were nestled in, and the pan covered to allow them to cook thru for just another minute.
finally, 2 pucks of eggplant were placed atop each breast, and a tsp or so of grated parmesan was carefully spriinkled on top of the eggplant and chicken, avoiding getting too much in the sauce.
the chicken topped with eggplant and cheese was plated with a side of penne tossed with the sauce.