Chef John Folse's Ratatouille Stuffed Chicken


                                                  Melrose Plantation

PREP TIME: 1 Hour                                                               SERVES: 6


The use of multiple vegetables in casseroles and stuffings was prevalent throughout the English, Spanish and German sections of North Louisiana. Large gardens guaranteed an ample supply of the needed ingredients for casseroles, soups and stuffings. This vegetable stuffing was often used in the kitchens of Creole Louisiana.


6 large deboned chicken breasts, skin-on

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup chopped onions

1/4 cup chopped celery

2 tbsps chopped red bell pepper

2 tbsps chopped yellow bell pepper

1 tsp diced garlic

1/4 cup diced tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped black olives

1/2 cup diced yellow squash

1/2 cup diced zucchini

1 cup diced eggplant

1/4 cup tomato sauce

pinch of thyme

pinch of basil

1/2 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs

salt and pepper to taste

Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce to taste

1 cup flour for dusting

1/4 cup olive oil for sautéing


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Using a sharp paring knife cut a pocket lengthwise through the center of the breast. This pocket will be filled with the stuffing later. In a large sauté pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onions, celery, bell peppers and garlic. Sauté three to five minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add tomatoes, black olives, squash, zucchini and eggplant. Continue to sauté until vegetables are cooked but not mushy, add tomato sauce and blend well. Season to taste using thyme, basil, salt, pepper and Louisiana Gold. Sprinkle in breadcrumbs and stir well into the vegetable mixture. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once the mixture is cool, divide into six equal portions. Season chicken thoroughly using salt and pepper. Stuff ratatouille into the pockets of each chicken breast. Secure the opening with a toothpick then dust breast lightly in seasoned flour. In a heavy bottom sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté chicken breast three at a time until golden brown on each side, approximately three to five minutes. Remove the breasts to a baking dish and bake until cooked thoroughly, approximately fifteen minutes. Serve with your favorite Creole tomato sauce.