Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chicken Ratatouille

A recipe for ya'll.

This is a great, easy, healthy and delicious meal, you can't beat that!

I've got several other recipes I'm backed up on sharing with ya'll because I have this problem. I don't measure things. Which doesn't bother me a bit, but when it comes to recipe sharing it makes things...complicated. So I'm going to give you the general outline and you will just have to experiment and tap into your inner cooking creativity.

Chicken Ratatouille

1 eggplant
2 zucchini (the zucchini looked the best, but sometimes I'll do a yellow squash and a zucchini)
1 orange pepper (because I like the color, I would do any color but green I don't like the taste)
1 large yellow or sweet onion
7-10 Campari tomatoes (these are the small on the vine tomatoes in plastic containers, I think they have great flavor year round but you could probably do 2-4 regular tomatoes instead just make sure they are ripe)
a couple of cloves of garlic
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
two chicken breasts
herbs de provence or italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 375
I chop the veggies up all in a uniform size and dump them into a 13x9 pan. Peel the garlic and if I'm not breaking up an argument or tripping on toys at this point I might even give it a rough chop, but the whole clove is fine if you're in a hurry. Throw that in with the veggies. Pour a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over the vegetables (enough to coat all of them) and liberally season with salt and pepper. I probably use about just under a tablespoon of salt and a teaspoon of fresh cracked pepper. Toss it all together and make sure all the veggies are covered in oil.
Liberally season each side of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and make little wells for them in the veggies and place them on top. Sprinkle a little olive oil on the chicken and then sprinkle either herbs de provence (what I used) or italian seasoning on top. Stick it in the oven. Put you timer on for 15-20 minutes. When it goes off stir the veggies around slightly and sprinkle some of the juice or the veggies themselves on top of the chicken for moistness. Then let cook another 15-30 minutes, depending on how thick you chicken breasts are and how done you like your veggies. The chicken should be an internal temp of 160 in it's thickest part, don't overcook it!

Take it out of the oven and throw some foil over it while you get the rest of dinner on the table (about 10 minutes should be sufficient). This will let the chicken absorb some of the juices from the veggies and make it extra moist.

I served this over quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) but it would be great over brown rice or cous cous, or even mashed potatoes (but healthy points go down for that). Quinoa is one of the healthiest whole grains that there is and I think it tastes really good as well. Plus you can make it in about 20 minutes. Brown rice can't touch that! I follow the directions on the box (that I get from Trader Joe's) but use chicken stock instead of water.

The veggies and quinoa both heat up nicely for a healthy lunch the next day. If you want something different you can throw the veggies on a roll spread on some herbed goat cheese or boursin cheese top with some sun dried tomato paste and caramelized onions and you have one heck of a sandwich on your hands. I love multi-purpose meals.

Hopefully this will give you and additional recipe to add to your repertoire. And who doesn't need an extra easy healthy meal on hand?

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