One-Skillet Roasted Chicken Breasts & Ratatouille
During the pandemic, long-winded, adventuresome cooking projects have become a form of entertainment for a lot of home cooks. Count us in, for sure. And yet, we all know how a harried workday at home (with the kids!) can challenge the spirit. Enter the one-skillet wonder!
For this recipe, we toss a trio of veggies — eggplant, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes — in a cast-iron skillet with a bunch of garlic and fresh thyme. Once they’re lightly sautéed and fragrant, we add the chicken to the skillet, and slide it in the oven. It sounds almost too easy and humble doesn’t it? But in the hot oven, the tomatoes, herbs, and chicken juices mingle in the most wonderful way. The chicken and vegetables turn out so tender, juicy, and flavorsome.
Our kids love this dish: They’re happy to help cube the eggplant and zucchini, and they’re suckers for pan juice. For ease, we usually serve this dish with slices of rustic demi-baguette and a little sweet cream butter — so good mopped through herby chicken juices. But, if you’re feeling inspired, you could go with quinoa or rice.
Our tip: Cutting chicken breasts in half can be tricky. Our butchers will do it for you for free.
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium zucchini, cut into ¾-inch cubes
6 small garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cherry tomatoes
5 sprigs thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 small bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (2 ½ pounds total), halved crosswise
Preheat the oven to 450º with the rack in the upper third of the oven.
In a large straight-sided ovenproof skillet, heat ¼ cup oil over medium-high. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring frequently, until it’s just beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
Add the zucchini, garlic, and remaining tablespoon of oil. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and rub with oil. Add it to the skillet, skin-side up, and then roast it in the oven until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
Turn the oven to broil and continue to cook until the skin is golden brown and the juices are bubbly, 1 to 2 minutes more. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe source: Martha Stewart