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Cancer-Fighting Recipe: Chicken Ratatouille

In this Mediterranean variation of the classic French vegetable stew, the chicken soaks up the wonderful flavors of ratatouille: peppers, garlic, tomatoes and herbs. This dish is versatile in that it can be made as a one pot meal with chicken or vegetarian (hold the chicken).

Multiple ingredients have properties which may be cancer fighting, antibacterial and/or anti-inflammatory including eggplant, garlic, tomatoes and lemon. Red pepper is twice as high in vitamin C and 11 times higher in beta carotene than green pepper. Zucchini, readily available through local farmers in the summer, and is high in vitamin C.

Chicken Ratatouille


Chicken Ratatouille

  • 1 medium eggplant cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cut up chicken (approximately 3 lbs)
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 peppers (1 green, 1 red), seeded and cubed
  • 1 medium zucchini cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 2 chopped tomatoes
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Lay eggplant cubes on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 15 minutes. Blot excess water.
  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown chicken pieces in a single layer for about 5 minutes per side. Remove chicken and set aside.
  3. Pour off remaining fat from the Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic. Saute until onion is tender - about 2 minutes. Add green and red bell peppers for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, parsley, oregano, basil and pepper. Mix well
  4. Scoop the chicken to half of the pan. Return chicken to the Dutch oven and cover with vegetables. Season ratatouille with salt to taste. Simmer for 25 minutes until vegetables and chicken are tender. Add the juice of 1 lemon for the last 5 minutes.

Source: 365 Ways to Cook Chicken by Cheryl Sedaker, Harper Row Publishers, 1986

Debra DeMille, MS, RD, CSO, is a nutritional counselor at the Abramson Cancer Center at Penn Medicine Pennsylvania Hospital. Dietitians at the Abramson Cancer Center provide educational programs about nutrition that are open to patients as well as the community. Cancer-fighting recipes on this blog are the product of the quarterly series "Cooking Nutritious and Delicious Foods," which promotes seasonal healthy foods with cancer-fighting properties.

About This Blog

The Focus on Cancer blog discusses a variety of cancer-related topics, including treatment advances, research efforts and clinical trials, nutrition, support groups, survivorship and patient stories.

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