I have this strange aversion to making the same dish twice.
I didn’t know that I have this aversion (consciously), but as it turns out, I don’t usually make the same thing twice. I take a recipe and tweak it, sub out ingredients or cooking methods or just decide that I can generally do better the next time around.
(The one exception, of course, being family holiday meals. You don’t mess with tradition. Or my dad.)
I found myself shopping for a meal last week that I had made once before, and I just went with it.
I made this chicken once before, inspired by a meal at a deli/gelateria/pizzeria/grocery out in the southwestern suburbs of Chicago, called Freddy’s Pizza.
We all know that I’m not a tomato lover, generally speaking, but seeing as summer is running away faster than a hooker from an undercover cop, I figured I’d use some while the season lasted.
Plus, there’s cheese.
Cheese makes pretty much any food delicious. (If you’re vegan, close your eyes)
Here’s a reprint of the (slightly revised- I can’t leave well enough alone) recipe:
Ciao! Que Pollo!
2 hefty servings
1/2-1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1 can diced tomatoes
bottled Italian herb seasoning to taste
2 chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium heirloom tomato, sliced into rounds
2 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced (left out this time, but I encourage it)
2 oz sliced provolone
1/4 cup fresh basil
Preheat oven to 350°
In a skillet, heat a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 clove garlic and eggplant slices. Add diced tomatoes and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Reduce heat to low, cooking until eggplant is very soft, about 10 minutes.
Butterfly chicken, season with salt+pepper and additional Italian seasoning, and add to another skillet with a bit of oil with the remaining garlic over medium high heat. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side, until browned.
Top chicken with a few slices of eggplant and tomato and spoon some of the diced tomatoes over. Add a few slices of mozzarella and a slice of provolone, along with some chopped (or chiffonade) basil.
Place the entire skillet in the oven. Let cook for about another 10 minutes until the cheese begins to melt. Then turn the broiler on and (watch it carefully!) let the cheese brown slightly. Remove from oven, garnish with the remaining basil and plate chicken, spooning pan sauce over it.
I serve this with crusty bread. I have similar feelings toward crusty bread as I do toward cheese. Just do it. Low carb is for suckers.
And it might even cause you to want to make this twice.