I made this dish for my family and they LOVED it. They said it was better than the best Italian restaurant they have ever been to. I cook with love. My Italian heritage along with my creativity give me the instinct to create various dishes. Yes, you can can simplify it. You can’t really can’t mess it up. Is it worth the effort? But of course. [And its GLUTEN FREE] Mangia Bene!
Francesca “Mama Mangiamo”
MAKE YOUR ‘GRAVY’ [as we Italians call the tomato sauce]:
1. Saute a chopped garlic clove in OVOO [olive oil] for a few seconds
2. Add the diced tomatoes, stir.
3. Sprinkle into the “gravy”
– @1/2 tbsp garlic powder to taste
– @1/2 tbsp onion powder to taste
– @ a hand full of fresh chopped basil (or crushed dried basil will do).
– cayenne pepper (or crushed red pepper flakes)
PREPARE THE MUSHROOMS [12 sliced baby bellas or mushroom of your choice.]
1. Soak Mushrooms in the following mixture
– Cooking wine (I used about 2 tbsp Burgundy),
– 1 medium ONION sliced
– 2 crushed GARLIC cloves
– Salt and Pepper.
Heat pan to a medium heat;
Saute sliced onions in a little olive for a few seconds.
Add soaked sliced mushrooms, raise heat to med/high and stir until onions are caramelized [soft and brownish] this should take about 3-4 minutes.
PREPARE YOUR CHICKEN
[2 chicken breasts cut in half and pounded between wax paper]
1. Dip in egg wash which contains
– 1 egg,
– Salt and Pepper
– Parsley (chopped fresh or dried flakes),
– Water [or coconut water] to roughly double capacity of the scrambled egg.
2. Then dip in a mixture of flour (I used gluten free) which contains
– Salt and Pepper
– 1 tbsp of Basil
– 1 tbsp Paprika
– 1/4 tsp of Cumin (opt)
– 1 tsp each of Onion
– 1 tsp Garlic powder
– 1/8 tsp of Ginger (optional)
– 1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper (to your taste or ground red pepper) .
3. Let the chicken breasts rest.
BROWN THE CHICKEN BREAST OVER MED/HIGH HEAT
– Heat a heavy skillet to med/med high. (I used cast iron)
– Pour SESAME OIL (or your choice of oil) to barely cover the bottom,
– Add a tbsp of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR (optional)
– Add Chicken and brown on both sides
– Turn the heat down to medium (if using a cast iron you may need to add more oil to prevent burning) and let cook to brown on each side for about @ 10 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken breast). Keep an eye on them.
– Set them aside on a warm plate.
PREPARE YOUR EGGPLANT
1. Peel and slide lengthwise one medium size eggplant [size of a chicken breast.
2. Mix together and brush on eggplant
– Kosher or Sea salt,
– Black peppercorn to taste
– 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp. crushed basil,
– 1/2 tsp.parsley,
– 1 tbsp of ITALIAN BLEND CHEESE (or your choice)
– add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the blend.
GRILL/BROWN THE EGGPLANT
Turn once or twice until softened.
LAYER FOR A BEAUTIFUL PRESENTATION
– Line a dish with fresh baby spinach leaves
– Place the cooked chicken breast on top
– Add a layer of ‘gravy’ (tomato sauce)
— Add a layer of eggplant and tomato sauce
– Sprinkle WITH Italian cheese mix.
– Layer the mushroom mixture
– Top with strips of roasted red bell pepper.
— Sprinkle with Italian cheese.
( if cheese is not partially melted place in a warm over til melted (or microwave)