Baked Chicken and Manchego

This dish has the elements of the classic Chicken Parmesan, but the addition of roasted eggplant and melting Manchego over the top gives it a wonderful deep flavor.  When you roast the eggplant ahead, and have it on hand, dinner will come together in minutes.  I use the microwave for my steamed spinach – 1 bag of baby spinach, a bit of butter and salt (no water) 3 minutes in a glass container with a lid – perfection.

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon each canola oil and butter

1/4 cup frozen diced onions

1/2 cup roasted eggplant*

6 leaves fresh basil

1 8 oz can tomato sauce

1/4 cup red wine

2 oz thinly sliced Manchego cheese (I use a hand-held cheese slicer or you could use a vegetable peeler)

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Heat a large saute pan and add the oil and butter.
  • Add the onions and saute until translucent.
  • Add the chicken breasts and brown on one side about 2 minutes.
  • Flip over the chicken and add the tomato sauce and the red wine.
  • Simmer for a minute, then top the chicken with the basil, eggplant then top with the Manchego.
  • Put the saute pan in the pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.
  • Serve with steamed baby spinach.

*To roast eggplant:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Dice an eggplant into 1″ cubes.
  • Toss with 2 tablespoons canola oil and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt.
  • Roast on a foil lined rimmed cookie sheet for about 45 minutes or until the eggplant is browned.
  • When the eggplant comes out of the oven, fold over the foil to cover the eggplant and let it cool.
  • This will allow the eggplant to soften up the skin and release from the foil.
  • The eggplant will keep in the refrigerator and can be eaten at room temperature in salads or warm in any tomato dish.
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