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MICHAEL SYMON Pan-Roasted Chicken with Vegetable Ragu

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Nothing says yum like ratatouille and roasted chicken!

1 small onion (medium diced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 medium eggplant (medium diced, about 4 cups)
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1-2 reaper peppers (medium diced)
1 small zucchini (medium diced, about 1 cup)
1 small yellow squash (medium diced, about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/3 cup fresh basil (chopped) + 1 cup basil (whole leaf)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 whole chicken (backbone removed and cut into 4 pieces)
few sprigs of fresh thyme (tied in bundle)

For the Ratatouille: In a large sauté pan, add 1/4 cup olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme and continue to cook until the eggplant begins to soften and turn golden-brown. Add more oil if necessary.
Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, until the vegetables break down and soften. Add the tomatoes, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered until softened, for about 10 minutes. Add the basil and red wine vinegar and stir to combine.
For the Chicken: Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a large saucepan add olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
Season both sides of the chicken pieces and add to the pan skin-side down. Cook until golden-brown and crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Flip and add the thyme sprigs to the pan. Place in the oven to roast for 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving. Baste with pan drippings and serve with ratatouille.

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