If you love eggplant as much as I do, you know it has the potential to be sumptuously plush and silky and even richly browned—but that it can take some time and effort to get it that way.
You Should Be Microwaving Eggplant
The raw flesh is as watery and porous as a wet sponge and typically requires a good 30 minutes of salting, followed by thorough blotting, to rid it of excess moisture and collapse its puffy air pockets. Even then, the eggplant might not be dry enough to brown nicely when it’s sautéed, stir-fried, or shallow-fried.
We’ve got a much faster, less fussy, more effective way to achieve those results: salting and microwaving the eggplant.
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Why Microwave Eggplant
Salting and then microwaving eggplant helps it dehydrate a bit and compress much faster and more thoroughly than it does when it’s simply salted and blotted dry. The salt pulls out liquid from inside the eggplant at the same time the microwave causes it to steam, making it shed liquid faster than either method alone. To keep the eggplant from poaching in the liquid it sheds, we spread it in an even layer on a double layer of coffee filters.
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How to Microwave Eggplant
Here’s our favorite method:
- Cut into ½-inch chunks: Depending on what you’re making, you can peel the eggplant or leave it unpeeled.
- Toss with salt: We use 1 teaspoon of Diamond Crystal kosher salt per large (1¼ to 1½ pounds) eggplant.
- Line large plate with coffee filters: Use a double layer of coffee filters so that there’s enough material to absorb the shed moisture. Coat the filters with nonstick spray to prevent the eggplant from sticking.
- Spread eggplant in single layer: This ensures that the eggplant cooks evenly.
- Microwave on high power: Zap it uncovered until it’s dry to the touch and slightly shriveled, which takes about 10 minutes.
- Toss halfway through cooking: This ensures that the eggplant cooks evenly.
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Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!
Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.
Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!
John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.