If you're looking for a good "use it up" sort of meal, nothing beats a frittata. A frittata is basically a giant oven-baked omelette filled with lots of stuff (or a crustless quiche). Usually it starts on the stove and ends in the oven, where it develops a nice, golden finish. A frittata always looks classy, no matter what you put into it, making it an ideal way to piece together and give new life to those odds and ends lurking around in the fridge, of which I had a ton of this week. Broccoli, chicken, a handful of grape tomatoes, some basil, half of a giant onion, and some homemade ricotta that I needed to quickly get rid of, lest I devour the entire container with a spoon. It all had to go.
Starting with pre-cooked chicken is a big time saver in a dish like this. If you've only got the raw stuff, then gently simmer it till cooked and then shred into bite sized pieces. The flavors in this frittata are light and fresh, with basil taking the lead. It's a pretty effortless process—I sautéed the vegetables for a few minutes until almost cooked, and then added the chicken, basil and egg. I spooned myself one last mouthful of creamy ricotta and plopped the rest into the pan. 20 minutes in a moderate oven and my frittata was finished. All I had to do was sneak myself the slice with the biggest mound of cheese.
- 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast or thigh trimmed of fat
- 3 cups homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 1/4 pounds broccoli florets, cut into 2-inch pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 10 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- Whole basil leaves for garnish
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. If using chicken breasts, slice each breast so that they are of equal thickness. Heat broth in medium saucepan over medium-high heat to simmer. Add chicken and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to low and gently simmer until chicken is cooked to 160°F, 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and when cool enough to handle shred into bite size pieces.
In large oven-proof nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion, broccoli, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are just beginning to soften (but not cooked completely), about 6 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, remaining tablespoon oil, and tomatoes. Remove from heat and layer chicken into pan.
Whisk 1/2 teaspoon salt and basil into eggs and pour into pan without stirring. Place dollops of ricotta into pan. Bake until eggs are just set, about 20 minutes. Let rest briefly before cutting and serving.
10 or 12-inch nonstick oven-proof skillet
Make this meal faster by using pre-cooked chicken; thigh meat will yield the moistest texture. Feel free to substitute your favorite vegetable for the broccoli. This frittata releases easiest from a non-stick ovenproof pan, but a regular pan can be used in a pinch.