Ratatouille with Sun Dried Tomato Chicken and Wild Rice

Ratatouille with Sun Dried Tomato Chicken and Wild Rice

One more summer hurrah!

Here’s our recreation of the traditional French-inspired stewed veggie dish, plus an easy chicken recipe and a whole grain to make it a balanced meal. Ratatouille is a warming and nourishing weeknight dinner that harnesses the bold flavors of those late summer veggies you can still find at the farmers market. Nothing is quite as satisfying as ripe heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil.

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Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients for the chicken and wild rice:
¼ cup minced oil-packed sun dried tomatoes (with some of the oil)
½ shallot, minced
¼ cup minced fresh basil
1 tsp. Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning
1 lb. chicken breasts
1 cup dry wild rice (or 3 cups pre-cooked)

Ingredients for the Ratatouille
1 ½ cups tomato sauce (any kind)
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 ½ tsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
½ lb. sliced eggplant
½ lb. sliced zucchini
½ lb. sliced tomato
1 shallot, sliced thinly
A few handfuls of whole basil leaves

Directions:
1) Marinate the chicken 2-3 hours before cooking, or even several days in advance. Finely mince sun dried tomatoes, ½ shallot, and basil. Combine the ingredients, along with the Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning and a drizzle of the oil from the jar of sun dried tomatoes together in a small bowl. Mix well. Optional to use a small food processor or mortar and pestle to mash the ingredients together. Place the chicken breasts in a large Ziplock bag and pour the marinade inside, squishing the chicken around so it becomes fully coated.

2) Cook the wild rice (if you didn’t buy pre-cooked). Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add the dry wild rice. Cook, covered, at a low boil for 45-50 minutes. Wild rice bursts when fully cooked and should be al dente (soft but not mushy).

3) Prep the veggies. Rinse and dry the eggplant, zucchini, and tomato. Cut the eggplant, zucchini, and tomato into thin slices, about ¼ inch thick. Peel the shallot and slice thinly.

4) Preheat oven to 350. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easier cleanup. Place the chicken and marinade in the baking dish.

5) In 9×9 baking dish or something similar, mix together the tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, crushed garlic, Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Make sure the bottom of the pan is covered in an even layer.

6) Starting on one side of the pan, begin alternating the eggplant, zucchini, and tomato slices and the whole basil leaves. Repeat until you’ve formed a couple rows of veggies and you’ve used them up. If there are too many veggies to fit in the pan, add some on top. If there is not enough, you can also layer the veggies horizontal (like a lasagna).

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7) Put the Ratatouille and the chicken in the oven and set a timer for 35 minutes. Check that the chicken is cooked through (you may need another 5 minutes depending on the thickness). The Ratatouille should take 45-50 minutes total.

8) Serve the cooked wild rice, chicken, and Ratatouille optionally topped with fresh basil and more salt and pepper.

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