Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Very satisfying dinner: Ratatouille with chicken

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Update : Just made it again, and it is extremely tasty and filling. I use 1-cup servings/meals, and I’m sure the recipe is more than 4 cups, so it may be less than 3 points. It tastes very rich. Also, note:

2 tablespoons pine nuts = 3 WW points
1/4 cup shredded parmesan = 3 WW points.

You may be able to use those and still be under your daily budget./update

I made this last night and liked it a lot. The entire recipe is a total of 13 Weight Watcher points, so divide by the number of servings to get the points per serving. The 13 points are from the 3 tablespoons olive oil (12 points) and 2 Tbsp pepper (1 point). Everything else is zero points. So 4 servings is 3 points per serving.

8 garlic cloves, 6 smashed a bit, 2 minced
2 medium white onions or 1 large
2 medium zucchini
1 medium eggplant
1 sweet red bell pepper; or 1 green bell pepper
[optional: several stalks of asparagus]
2 teaspoons cracked rosemary
1.5 tablespoons dried thyme
[optional: a diced lemon, including peel (0 points)]
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 boneless skinless chicken half-breasts, cut into chunks – I use ones I’ve already poached (see below), but raw can be used
2 teaspoons fine sea salt, more as needed
1-2 tablespoons of freshly ground black pepper (1 point)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the vegetables: Smash and peel 6 garlic cloves, reserving the 7th and 8th. Halve onions through their roots, and slice halves into 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Slice zucchini into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (i.e., thick, so they’ll hold up under cooking). Cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Seed peppers, and cut them into 1/2-inch-wide strips. If using asparagus, cut into 1″ lengths.

Toss vegetables and the 6 cloves of smashed garlic (and lemon if using) with the olive oil and herbs. Spread the vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet lined with nonstick foil. Sprinkle salt lightly over vegetables.

Place the baking sheet in the oven. Cook 90 minutes (until vegetables are very tender and lightly browned at the edges). Don’t worry about the vegetables being pretty; they will meld into the ratatouille. Use a wide spatula to burn the vegetables every 20 minutes or so.

Transfer the vegetables to a wide-diameter sauté pan. Add the minced garlic and sauté all that for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Then add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. If you’re using raw chicken breast, add that as well. (If you’re using cooked chicken breast, add chicken at the end.) Stir well. The dish should be quite thick. I find that additional liquid is not needed.

Cover pan and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender and imbued with juices and oil. If you’re using poached chicken breast, add it at this point and continue cooking over heat for 3-5 minutes to warm the chicken. This dish is also tasty when cold.

Poaching chicken breasts

Use four chicken breast halves.

Pound the thickest part of each chicken breast half to make the piece more uniform in thickness. This pounder works quite well. (Use Saran Wrap or the like around the breast as you pound it.)

In a large pot, put 4 quarts water, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and stir to dissolve. Add 6-8 smashed cloves of garlic and stir again. Put the chicken breasts on a steamer rack and immerse in the pot. Leave for 30 minutes to brine and flavor the chicken. The rack keeps the chicken breasts from sitting on the bottom of the pot, where they can easily overcook from the heat conducted through the metal.

Put the pot over medium heat and heat until the water temperature reaches 175ºF, stirring occasionally to keep the water temperature uniform. When the temperature is reached, remove pot from heat, cover, and let sit 18-22 minutes, just until the meat temperature is 160ºF. Remove breasts from heat and, if serving immediately, cover with foil and let sit 5 minutes.

I generally just refrigerate them to use them in various recipes: the ratatouille, a tossed salad, with beans as a chili, and so on. In the Weight Watchers plan, boneless skinless chicken breasts have zero points.

The Thermapen Mk4 by ThermoWorks is extremely accurate and quick reading—I used an earlier model for years and it’s the best kitchen thermometer I’ve had. The MK4 is even better. But any good digital instant-read thermometer will work. Take a look at this one.


Written by LeisureGuy

7 January 2018 at 7:32 am

Posted in Food, Low carb, Recipes

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