Pan-Seared Chicken with Eggplant Crisps & Chipotle Mayonnaise

Automne 2011
food and drink

BY: Christopher St. Onge

Fried, deeply nutty-flavoured eggplant crisps make for stunning sandwich toppers. Don’t use your best extra virgin olive oil to make these, however. Use simple non-virgin olive oil instead. The dried chipotle used in the mayo is widely available now, so no more half-used tins of canned chipotle lurking in the back of the fridge.

1 medium eggplant, 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 cm) long
Olive oil for frying

1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
½ tsp (2 mL) ground dried chipotle
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ cup (125 mL) mayonnaise
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fillet removed
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp (30 mL) butter
2 baguettes, each 12 inches (30 cm) long
4 slices smoked cheddar, each cut in half on the diagonal

1 For eggplant crisps, slice eggplant horizontally into thin slices, about ⅛ inch (3 mm) thick. Pour oil into a medium-size skillet to a 1-inch (2.5-cm) depth. Heat over medium and once hot, fry eggplant slices in batches for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until deeply golden. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Season with salt.

2 For mayonnaise, combine cumin, chipotle, garlic and mayonnaise in a small bowl.

3 Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, place chicken on cutting board, place your hand flat on top to steady, and using a sharp knife held parallel to the board, cut through the centre of each breast to create 2 equal sized cutlets. Season with salt and pepper. Heat butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side, or until golden and cooked through. Keep warm until ready to assemble.

4 Preheat broiler. Cut baguettes in half to form four 6-inch (15-cm) lengths. Cut through centre of each to create a top and bottom. Broil until edges are crisped and golden. Divide mayonnaise between the 8 baguette slices and top each bottom with a cutlet, cutting chicken to fit and fill the length of the sandwich. Top chicken with 2 cheddar halves and divide eggplant crisps equally between sandwiches. Top with the remaining baguette slices.

Makes 4

What to Serve