Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 1/2 large eggplants or 2 small eggplants
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2.5 lbs total weight)
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup sofrito (Spanish tomato sauce - see link below)
- 6-8 small roasted red peppers, such as piquillo peppers
- 1/2 lb mozzarella cheese*
* Use any type of soft white cheese that will melt easily.
Prepare the Sofrito - Tomato Sauce before you begin this recipe and set aside to cool. Any sauce that is left over can be refigerated and used later in lots of different Spanish food recipes.
Rinse the eggplants and cut off the stem. Slice the eggplants into rounds 3/8 inch thick. Depending on the size of the eggplants, you may end up with 12-15 slices or more. You can broil all of the eggplant and use any leftover slices to make another eggplant dish, such as eggplant with tomato vinaigrette.
Note: Slices 1/4 inch thick are a bit too thin. They will burn easily and fall apart. Slices 1/2 inch thick take too long to cook under the grill and the skin can be hard to cut or chew.
Turn on broiler to heat. Place slices on a baking sheet and spray with oil, using a “mister” if you have one. If not, lightly brush each slice with olive oil. Place baking sheets under broiler on second shelf from top, so that they are not too close, or they will burn. When one side is slightly browned and soft when you press lightly, turn slices over, apply olive oil and return to broiler. Depending on your broiler, the distance from the pan, it may take 20-25 minutes to cook.
While the eggplant is roasting, prepare the chicken. Remove any fat that may remain on the breasts. Cut chicken breasts into pieces small enough to fit on the eggplant slices. Salt the chicken. Pour about 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan and heat on medium. When hot, add chicken and cook on both sides. Remove when cooked. If the breasts are very thick in some parts, slice in half after cooking. This will make the "tapa" easier to serve and eat.
Slice peppers into strips and cut mozzarella cheese into thin slices for easy melting.
Assemble Eggplant and Other Ingredients
Place the rounds of roasted eggplant on a baking sheet. Place a piece of chicken on each one and spoon a teaspoon or so of the tomato sauce over the chicken. Top the tomato sauce with a slice of pepper and a piece of cheese.
At this point, the eggplant-chicken rounds can be kept in the refrigerator until a few minutes before you are ready to serve. If you do refrigerate them, remove from refrigerator and allow them to warm to room temperature before placing them under the broiler. Otherwise, the bottom portion of the eggplant and chicken will be cold even though the cheese on top is melted.
Just before serving, heat the broiler to melt the cheese. Place the baking sheets with eggplant and chicken under the broiler to melt the cheese.