Bacon and Roasted Vegetable Ragu Over Chicken and Rice

This recipe came about as many of my recipes do, figuring out how to make a delicious and satisfying dinner from what I have on hand. I knew Chris was joining me for dinner yesterday, so I checked out my refrigerator in the morning. Leftover roasted vegetables and diced fire roasted tomatoes in the fridge, two lonely chicken breasts in the freezer. I moved the chicken into the fridge to defrost, and then set out on my way to work pondering what to make. When I suggested making a “sauce” out of the roasted vegetables and tomatoes, Chris was intrigued, but not sold. Then I mentioned that I could put this sauce over chicken that had been cooked in bacon fat. Needless to say dinner was decided.

For just going with the flow, this recipe pleasantly surprised Chris and I. It was fast and simple, in addition to being delicious, and made completely from items I had in the pantry and refrigerator!

Start out by frying up some bacon on medium-medium high. I used turkey bacon, because that’s what I tend to buy – a mild attempt at watching my figure.

While the bacon was cooking I also put some rice on to serve the chicken and ragu over. You can use any type of rice you want, I used a whole grain chicken flavored blend. Prepare the rice according to the package directions.

After your bacon is nice and crispy remove it from the pan to paper towels, and let it cool before cutting it into pieces. Next, turn down your burner to medium and season your chicken breasts. I seasoned my chicken breasts with dried thyme, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper prior to cooking. Be sure to season both sides! After seasoning, add the chicken to the pan, do not pour out that bacon fat!

Cook chicken over medium heat, for 3-4 minutes on each side.

After your chicken is cooked through remove it to a plate. Add the roasted vegetables to your pan. There should be enough oil left from the bacon and already on the veggies, but you can always add a little olive oil or cooking spray if you’re worried. I ended up adding a package of frozen vegetables to my roasted vegetables. (I only had about a half a pan leftover from the night before.) I would recommend using an entire pan of roasted vegetables, but if you’re using up leftovers like I am, just microwave your frozen vegetables for half of the recommended time and then add them to the pan with your roasted veggies. I used a combination of broccoli, bell peppers, and carrots which went along nicely with my leftover roasted vegetables.

Stir the vegetables around and then add in a 14.5 ounce can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes and one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle mixture with dried, basil thyme, and garlic powder. Just use a little to amp up the flavor since your vegetables were previously seasoned. Cook the vegetables over medium heat, allowing them to come to a simmer. Once the mixture is bubbling add the chicken back to the pan. Don’t leave any of those delicious juices behind!

At this time you also want to add the crumbled bacon to the pan.

Stir the mixture and allow the flavors to blend together.

While the sauce is getting all kinds of delicious, you can start plating your rice. It should be at the perfect consistency by now.

Add the rice to a plate followed by a chicken breast. Top each chicken breast with the bacon and roasted vegetable ragu and dig in!

This recipe is not only filling and healthy, it was also ready in 30 minutes flat! Perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.

Bacon and Roasted Vegetable Ragu Over Chicken and Rice

Serves 2

4 Slices Turkey Bacon 2 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts
1 Pan Roasted Vegetables (or 1/2 pan and 1 bag of your choice of frozen veggies)
1 14.5 oz can Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 Boxed Rice Blend (I used a Whole-grain Chicken Flavor)
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
Dried Thyme, to taste
Dried Basil, to taste
Garlic Powder, to taste
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Prepare rice according to package instructions.

Fry bacon over medium-medium high heat. Remove bacon from the pan, and reduce heat to medium.

Season both sides of the chicken breasts with dried thyme, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Without draining bacon fat, add chicken to the pan, cooking 3-4 minutes per side. When chicken is cooked through, remove to a plate.

Add roasted vegetables (and frozen veggies if you’re using) to the pan. Stir in the can of fire roasted tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, and additional dried thyme, basil, and garlic to your taste. Allow sauce to come to simmer.

Add chicken and bacon back to the skillet with the vegetable mixture, stirring and allowing the flavors to meld together.

Put a spoonful of rice on each plate followed by a chicken breast. Top each chicken breast with the bacon and roasted vegetable ragu.

Serve and enjoy!

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Filed under balsamic, bell pepper, broccoli, chicken, dinner, easy, main course, red onion, rice, roasted vegetables, summer squash, tomato, turkey bacon, vegetable, zucchini

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