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Rustic Chicken - {Pollo Rustico}


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  • 1 1/2 cups cubed eggplant
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil (1/4 to 1/2)
  • 2 ounces pancetta diced
  • 1 medium white onion peeled, and thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 whole chicken breasts - (abt 2 lbs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 large ripe plum tomatoes diced
  • 3 fresh basil leaves - (to 4) chopped


Servings 4


Step 1

Place the eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and let stand for 1 hour. Rinse and dry well.

In a skillet, heat 1/4 cup peanut oil. Add the eggplant and saute until soft, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add more oil as needed. Set the eggplant aside.

In a heavy, heatproof 9-inch casserole, saute the pancetta over medium heat until it begins to brown. Add the onion and saute until soft. Add the garlic and continue cooking until garlic is soft. Remove the ingredients to a dish and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in the casserole, add the chicken breasts, and brown slowly on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the reserved pancetta mixture along with the wine, tomatoes, and basil and stir to blend well.

Cover the casserole and cook the chicken slowly for 45 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook 5 minutes more. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve the chicken with the vegetable mixture spooned over the top.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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