TNT - Chicken Melitzana
This is a delicious greek meal. The sauce is something quite different to what you would expect, the cinnamon really adds a distinct flavour to the tomato sauce. Admittedly I did not deep fry the eggplant but grilled it without flouring it (couldn't be bothered :P). And the fried haloumi, always delicious, just adds the finishing touch.
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
1 large eggplant (about 850g), cut into four 5cm-thick rounds
plain flour, seasoned to taste, for dusting
4 chicken breasts (about 170g each)
40g butter, chopped
250g haloumi, cut into 5mm thick slices
steamed asparagus, to serve
Cinnamon Tomato Sauce
2 onions, quartered
extra virgin olive oil
2 sticks of cinnamon
1kg canned italian tomatoes, pureed
1 tbsp honey
For the sauce, process onions in a food processor until pureed. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil and cinnamon sticks in a heavy based frying pan over medium heat until fragrant. Reduce heat, add onion puree and stir for 15 minutes, then add pureed tomatoes and honey and season to taste. Simmer for 45 minutes or until thickened and reduced, then discard cinnamon sticks. Makes about 3 cups.
Heat oil in a deep fryer or deep saucepan, then dip eggplant slices, one at a time, in water, then in flour, then in water again and place immediately in the oil and fry until eggplant are golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper.
Dust chicken breasts in flour, shaking off excess. Heat butter in a heavy based frying pan and cook chicken over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until golden, then remove from heat. Chicken will not be cooked all the way through.
Place eggplant slices in a roasting pan, then top each piece of eggplant with one chicken breast and pour 1/3 cup sauce over chicken to completely cover. Divide haloumi slices among chicken, then spoon remaining sauce over cheese and bake at 180'C for 20 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through.
Divide chicken breasts among 4 plates and serve immediately, with steamed asparagus to the side.