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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Roasted Chicken with Kale

The mantra of this website is navigating life with picky eaters, one recipe at a time. Perhaps I should swap the word picky with the word inexperienced. The fun part about having inexperienced eaters is the fact that very few risks and new things have been tried. I saw this as a negative for the longest of times. It seemed like a curse to have to make such drab meals. For instance, browning ground beef, adding two cans of vegetable soup, and popping some mashed potato flakes in the microwave. Yeah, I used to make that. 

One of the biggest joys of this blogging experience so far as been the fact that I have started making weekly meal plans and sticking to them. It has become weekend routine to sit down with the cookbooks, flip through the pages, and find new recipes to try that week. I try to keep things balanced and plan one beef, chicken, meatless, and Italian meal per week. I like to throw a soup in there too, most times on the weekends as they freeze well and make for great meals in a pinch. 

When flipping through Giada's Family Dinners, Fettuccine with Roasted Chicken and Broccoli Rabe was chosen. My mouth may have dropped when I saw what he chose. Broccoli rabe, really? Even though I was hesitant, I added it to the menu. I had to adapt the recipe slightly as I could not find broccoli rabe anywhere, but found kale instead. I also did not use fettuccine as I am trying to clean out my pantry and had other pastas. I used Bobby Flay's preparation for the kale and tossed it with the chicken and fettuccine. A surprisingly delicious combination that was a big winner for my inexperienced eaters.

1 pound kale, stems and leaves coarsely chopped3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water2 tablespoons red wine vinegar1 pound pasta1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium chicken broth1/4 cup fresh lemon juice3 cups shredded roasted chicken (from 1 roasted chicken)3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leavesSalt and freshly ground black pepper


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta to the same pot of boiling water and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.

In a second skillet, bring the broth and lemon juice to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until the broth reduces by half, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add kale to the chicken broth and stir to combine. 
Add the pasta, 1/2 cup of Parmesan and parsley. Toss to coat, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Mound the pasta into bowls and serve. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve.
Source: Adapted from Family Dinners and Bobby Flay

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