Monday, April 21, 2014

Crock Pot Chicken Ratatoullie over Wild Rice

Ratatouille is a rustic French vegetable stew that traditionally contains a base of tomatoes, onions and garlic. (it had me at hello)  Other vegetables that are common in a Ratatouille are eggplant, bell peppers and zucchini.   It's name comes from the French word touiller, which means to toss. I guess that’s because you toss everything in, along with some herbs and let it cook. Ratatouille is usually served as a side dish or a topping for crepes or omelets but in this case, I have added meat to the mix and made it as a complete meal.  In my previous life as a vegetarian, I would make Ratatouille on it’s own and eat it with a bread for dinner.  
Chicken Ratatouille
Although this meal contains many ingredients, it is really simple to make.  It’s robust flavor makes it a go dish that will please many. If you are omitting the meat you can add a can or two of organic garbanzo beans. I have added mine in addition to the meat. My kids love their chick peas.  

1 280z of diced tomatoes ( I prefer Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes)
3-4 large carrots, sliced
1 Large bell pepper, cut into chunks
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 medium eggplant, cut into chunks
1 12oz of garbanzo beans (optional)
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoon dried basil 
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 sprig of fresh rosemary,
¾-1 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh cracked peppercorns
2-3 lbs of bone in chicken like drumsticks and thighs, skins removed
Crumbled feta
Cooked wild rice

In keeping with the rustic feel of this dish, you want to cut your vegetables slightly larger than bite sized. Once your vegetables are cut, lay them in the bottom of your slow cooker.  Add the chicken and herbs and spices. Cover with the can of diced tomatoes.  Place a lid on your slow cooker and cook on medium. Toss the vegetables occasionally and cook until the vegetables are well done and chicken is fall off the bone tender.  This varies depending on your slow cooker settings and the size of your crock. 

Serve on a bed of wild rice and top with crumbled feta. 
This meal is so versatile, as long as your have your major players, you can add various other vegetables and still call it a Ratatouille. 

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