Friday, July 29, 2011

Weeknight Dinner: Mediterranean Chicken Stackers

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I have been obsessed with Rachael Ray's August magazine.  I'm not sure why but there are some issues of every cooking magazine that I get in the mail and I just find a treasture trove of recipes.  Then, there are others that I go through fruitlessly without one good recipe. 

My binder has been the subject of other blog posts but it's worth mentioning again.  I noticed I just had too many magazines piling up at home.  I am a keeper.  I love to save everything--hey you never know when you might need it right?  But over the winter I went through all the magazines and took out recipes we wanted to make; they went in the binder.  Lately, I've been weeding through the binder because we haven't made a lot of things I have tagged.  If I haven't made it but I think I might, it stays through the winter; if I haven't made it and it's a summer recipe...and I'm not going to, it gets dumped.

The Ratatouille Boats, also in the August Rachael Ray magazine, left me with half of an eggplant.  It seemed like my living guardian angel, Rachael Ray, was guiding me to make both of her dishes in the same weekend!  Well, I could oblige that.  It was worth it, but I really thought it would be much better on the grill, rather than a skillet.  I found using the skillet the eggplant got cold (or the chicken) depending on which you made first.  The grill, you can cook everything at the same time. 
Mediterranean Chicken Stackers
Serves:  2 (2 stackers)
1 hot dog bun (or hamburger)
3 teaspoon salt
6 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons garlic powder
  OR substitute four above ingredients for 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 eggplant
2 chicken breasts
3 tomatoes, sliced
1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup garlic and herb cheese spread (we used light)

In a mini food processor, grind the hot dog bun with 1 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, and garlic powder, until the mixture forms breadcrumbs.  Alternately, you could just use breadcrumbs.  Preheat the grill to medium heat.  Slice the eggplant into 4 slices.  Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle with remaining salt.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Slice the chicken breasts in half.  Season the chicken with the remaining pepper.  Place the chicken on the grill; grill 8 minutes on each side, until fully cooked.  Grill the eggplant about 4-5 minutes per side.  In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the breadcrumbs until they are golden brown and crunchy.  Set aside in a small bowl.  Place the tomato slices in the skillet with olive oil and sautee. 
To plate:  place an eggplant slice down, top with 1/4 cup of garlic and herb spreadable cheese.  Top with tomato slices and then a chicken piece.  Top with more tomato slices.  Then, top with another eggplant slice, 1/4 cup of garlic and herb cheese, tomatoes, chicken, finishing with tomatoes.  Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of the mixture (we also put some after each layer), and around the plate.  Serve immediately.

These stackers were beautiful presentation and took practically no time at all.  Especially, on the grill.  Even if you're just using a grill pan or indoor grill, these get done a lot better when everything is cooking at once.  Plus, this way there are a lot less steps.  Since the eggplant cooked the quickest, I pulled them off and covered each slice with cheese and just held them until it was time to stack.  This way the cheese sort of melted into the gooey eggplant.  Oh, boy it was good.

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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