Regular readers may have noticed that while I remove the tough centre stems from vegetables such as cavolo nero, kale and chard, I do not discard them, but rather chop and cook them for longer than the leaves – in this recipe the stems are cooked with the leeks.
I do this because I can’t bear to throw this part of the vegetable away – it just seems such a waste and why would I throw something that is perfectly edible in the rubbish?
These stems are delicious, add bulk to a dish and if cook until tender will not be noticed in the finished dish. Colourful chard stems also add colour to your dish.
Braised Cavolo Nero & Chicken
Kale can be used instead of cavolo nero, if you wish.
8 chicken drumsticks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, very thinly sliced and seeds removed
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 bunch cavolo nero, stems removed and sliced, leaves sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch dried red pepper flakes
1 Season drumsticks with salt. Heat a frying pan over a
medium heat, add a good splash of oil. Add drumsticks and cook for 4-5 minutes, turn over and cook, for 4-5 minutes longer or brown. Remove and set aside.
2 Add lemon slices and cook for 4-5 minutes each side or until brown.
3 Add leek and cavolo nero stems to pan, cover and cook, over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until leeks are tender. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, tossing, for 1 minute or until
fragrant. Add cavolo nero leaves and 1 cup water, cover and cook, tossing occasionally, for 5-8 minutes or until cavolo nero starts to wilt.
4 Place drumsticks on top of cavolo nero, cover and cook, over medium heat for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Season
cavolo nero mixture with a good grind of salt and black pepper. Serve with caramelised lemon slices.
So tell me, do you try to use all parts of a vegetable?
Where did the ingredients for this dish come from:
Chicken: Mad Butcher – Hastings; Garlic, lemon: Krismaw Gardens – Hastings; Leek, cavolo nero: Epicurean Supplies – Hastings; Olive oil: The Village Press – Hastings; Store Cupboard Ingredients: red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper.
Note: Many of these producers can be found at the Napier Urban Food Market each Saturday morning and/or at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers’
Market each Sunday morning.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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