25 February 2007

Spicy Chicken Breasts With Ratatouille Vegetables in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Winter has finally come to my corner of the Upper Midwest. It hit around 3 a.m. on Sunday morning and has been going full force. Schools are closed, kids are inside and the only sound you hear is the cacophony of snowblowers and the occasional freight train trundling through town. Those of us who are lucky enough to be able to work from home are doing that.

After Blowing Us Out Round One on Sunday, my husband made chili. Hot stuff. I made something similarly spicy cobbled together from what was on hand and in the larder: Chicken Breasts with Ratatouille Vegetables in a Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.

It's a fricassee kind of dish, served with strips of eggplant, peppers and zucchini. Since I'm off carbs for two weeks, I had to make up for that sacrifice with protein and heat.

For the Chicken

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • dash sel de fleur
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers from a jar
  • 1/2 cup salt-free chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme


Toss seasonings and chicken in a plastic bag to coat. Then, use a heavy skillet to lightly brown chicken in olive oil. When chicken is barely golden brown, remove it from pan; set aside. Add onion and garlic and brown lightly, adding a little more olive oil, if necessary. Cook for about three minutes. Pour in tomatoes and water. Add red pepper. You may chop this into small pieces, or even mince it. Return the chicken to the skillet and cook for about 30-45 minutes under low heat. Since I was using dried thyme, I added it midway through the cooking process.

I always use a meat thermometer to check chicken prepared this way, or any way, for that matter.

I kept checking the sauce and adding more spices. There is no prescribed amount, really; it's whatever you can tolerate.

For the Vegetables

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 peppers, green and red
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • fleur de sel

While the chicken was cooking, the vegetables were roasting in a 450-degree oven. These I prepared earlier in the day, working with the eggplant first, cutting it into strips, but not peeling it. I sprinkled it with sel de fleur and let it sit for about an hour to remove water. I almost always use a mix of salt and herbes de Provence (above). The peppers and the zucchini were also cut in strips. I drizzled the vegetables with olive oil before putting them in the oven.

I timed it so the vegetables and chicken were done at the same time. Usually, I get the timing all messed up, and one thing ends up being cold or overcooked.

Having nothing else to do (well, nothing else I had to do), enabled me to get it just right.

Let's hear it for snow days.

11 comments:

Lydia said...

Anything that combines the ratatouille vegetables reminds me of August, which is usually when I find all of these ingredients at the farmers' market. How nice to enjoy the same type of dish in the middle of winter!

Mimi said...

Yes, I start making ratatouille around the middle of August and keep making it for the next couple of months.

But sometimes in winter...

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Well, I can hooray for snow days but it's unlikey I'll have any snow in southern California and I see Dallas is to be 80 the day we return.
The chicken & ratatouille looks good snow or no!
Glad you are enjoying the snow day.

Mimi said...

Tanna, you are obviously leading a deprived existence.

But you did inspire a post here.

Come back tomorrow...

Kalyn said...

Sounds good and very SB diet approved!

Mimi said...

Thank, Kalyn! It mens a lot to have your sign of approval!

I am pleased to report the SB diet seems to be working, after only a few days.

Sarah said...

Hooray for Scorsese! I too endured the entire show just to see the end.

Lovely chicken dish; I might try that sans eggplant. Try as I might, I just am not a big fan of it.

Mimi said...

Eggplant grows on you, but I have to admit, there are sometimes I do not like it.

It was worth staying up to see Scorsese win, I think.

Kristen said...

Oh - I can't wait to give this a try. I love a dish with some kick!

Jann said...

another great dish you have whipped up!

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