Eggplant Chicken Parmesan #glutenfree
One of our favorite indulgences used to be fried chicken, which I had to give up when I went gluten-free and started eating better. Now we make chicken coated with gluten-free rice chex (a generic version that doesn’t contain BHT) that is baked or lightly fried in olive oil. Or you could skip the bread crumbs and use a gluten free flour instead (like Bob’s Red Mill all purpose – bean blend). In that case just dip it in the egg first then the flour.
We try to keep processed foods to a minimum but some version of this chicken makes it onto the menu every now and then as either eggplant chicken Parmesan, chicken tenders or chicken schnitzel with browned ghee lemon caper sauce. It’s just so good! My husband often says that even if we didn’t have to eat gluten-free, this is his favorite way to eat “fried” chicken now. They are breaded exactly the same way we did the artichoke hearts (GF all-purpose flour, eggs, crushed rice chex) with different seasonings.
For chicken tenders, we usually mix the rice chex with corn chex or tortilla chip crumbs and paprika and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. We like to dip these with homemade Buffalo sauce or BBQ sauce.
When we make the eggplant chicken Parmesan, EVOO and Italian spices are sprinkled all over eggplant slices, which are browned under the broiler. The eggplant slices go on top of the chicken after it is fried in olive oil so that the chicken doesn’t get soggy from the red sauce when baked in the oven.
Now this dish is not casein-free because I use Parmesan cheese in the breading and on top of the red sauce. I found an awesome vegan cheese from Whole Foods that doesn’t seem to contain casein and would work perfectly on this dish (and of course, don’t add the Parmesan to the breading).
Sometimes I have more than 6 slices of eggplant so I go ahead and season & cook it. Cut up the extra eggplant and toss with a little EVOO, a spoonful of red sauce and some GF pasta as a side dish. So good! And I always make extra of the eggplant chicken Parmesan so we have leftovers the next day. Okay so here is the recipe:
Serving Size: 4
- 1 small eggplant, trimmed and cut into 6 slices about 1/4-inch thick
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning*
- Olive oil, for spraying
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup GF all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup GF rice chex-type cereal, finely crushed
- 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
- 4 skinless boneless thin-cut chicken breasts cutlets
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup spicy marinara sauce
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- Mix together the Italian seasoning and store in an air-tight container.
- Preheat the broiler. Wash and dry the eggplant. Spray both sides of the eggplant slices with olive oil then sprinkle with the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until browned and tender, turning once, about 4 minutes per side. Set aside and reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
- If you can’t find thin-cut cutlets, cut boneless chicken breasts in half and pound out the chicken pieces so that they have an even thickness. Combine the rice chex-type cereal and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese in a mini-prep and grind so that it is finely crushed. Put the flour, eggs and cereal mixture in three separate shallow bowls. Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour, dip in the eggs then thoroughly coat with the cereal mixture. Set on wax paper on a plate. Repeat for the rest of the chicken.
- Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and cook for about 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain off excess oil. Alternatively, heat oil in a medium-sized cast iron Dutch oven and cook two pieces of chicken at a time.
- Meanwhile, heat the marinara sauce in a small saucepan.
- Place the chicken on a baking sheet or cast iron grill pan. Place 1-2 eggplant slices on each chicken cutlet and top evenly with the sauce and remaining Parmesan. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!
I used 2/3 of a 24 oz jar of GF store bought spicy marinara in another recipe and have 3/4 cup (6 oz) of sauce left, which I’ll doctor up with a little red wine and red pepper flakes. I like Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free baking flour (bean blend) that doesn’t contain xanthan gum for dredging. And make sure your all your spices are gluten-free.
I found the original recipe on the Food Network.