Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Radiatore with Grilled Chicken and Eggplant

I love when some chef or magazine or whatever gives me a meal plan for the whole week that will reuse ingredients.  Problem for me, of course, is that there are so many "No makes" that those same folks love to add.  So it turns out that I pick and choose from the predone menu, sort of defeating its purpose.

Rachael Ray is one such organization (chef?  magazine?  I'm not sure how to categorize her, and since I'm sure her people are doing this anyway, organization seems to be the best word choice) that does this helpful tool for email subscribers.  That's where I found the recipe for Radiatore with Grilled Chicken and Eggplant.

This was almost a meatless meal for us, since putting frozen chicken in the fridge overnight didn't get it defrosted, but I put the bagged chicken in some water and let it sit on the counter, defrosting MOST of it well enough to grill.  Like so many pasta dishes, this one lends itself to substitution as your kitchen needs dictate.

One note, though, is that the recipe suggests grating the tomatoes and garlic.  Don't.  Put it in your food processor, and save yourself the blood that I shed doing this DUMB task.

We all enjoyed this one (of course, except for the child who will not eat), and I love that it's full of veggies (I'm thinking some cooked broccoli would be delicious next time), excusing me from making a side dish (what?  That's not what I'm supposed to do??)  If you're one of those lucky people who don't have a groundhog living under their deck, eating all their container vegetables, you could use whatever your garden is growing (I'm really starting to think about the suggestions of certain people that we gas or maybe take a shotgun to that groundhog...  I know my friend Lishie has a recipe for Groundhog Stew on her blog....I keeed I keeed of course.)

It's funny, one of the nights this week I made one of Rachael's recipes, my husband commented that we typically don't like her stuff.  I don't think I told him that THIS was one of her's, so I guess I need to give credit where credit is due, and he'll embrace RR recipes again!

Radiatore with Grilled Chicken and Eggplant Source:  Rachael Ray
  • 2 large tomatoes (12 oz. each)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp. EVOO, plus more for brushing
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 sprigs basil, plus 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 1 box (12 oz.) tricolor radiatore pasta
  • 1 eggplant (1 lb.), sliced crosswise into 3/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced


  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high. Shred the tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater set in a bowl. Stir in the garlic and 1 tbsp. EVOO; season with salt and pepper. Add the basil sprigs and let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes. 2. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta until al dente; drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, brush the eggplant with a little EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the grill grate and grill the eggplant, covered and turning halfway through, until grill marks appear and the flesh is soft, about 10 minutes. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and grill, covered and turning halfway through, until nicely marked, about 10 minutes. Set aside to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Chop the eggplant and chicken and add to the pasta. Add the torn basil leaves and the onion. Remove the basil sprigs from the sauce and discard. Toss the sauce with the pasta, adding some of the reserved pasta cooking water to thin the consistency, if desired; season with salt and pepper.

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