Ratatouille Stuffed Chicken - Melrose Plantation

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 onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 tbsps red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 tbsps yellow bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, diced
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup black olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup yellow squash, diced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup eggplant, diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • pinch of thyme
  • pinch of basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce to taste
  • 1/2 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
  • 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 3 to 5 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 6 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-bottomed sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté chicken breast 3 at a time until golden brown on each side, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the breasts to a baking dish and bake until cooked thoroughly, approximately 15 minutes. Serve over your favorite Creole Marinara sauce.

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