Braised Cavolo Nero & Chicken

Braised Cavolo Nero & Chicken

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.

Serves 4

8 chicken drumsticks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
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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6 thoughts on “Braised Cavolo Nero & Chicken”

  1. Cavolo Nero is my fave kinda green vegetable. I remember the first time I tried it, I was working in a kitchen in London, the chef screamed at me – Aussie…. CavNero! I stood there staring at him thinking he’d just had a stroke or something. He stopped mid service & made me eat some. It was the beginning of a wonderful relationship. Long story short… Trying your recipe stat.
    Anna @ shenANNAgans recently posted…CBR Food Bloggers Meet at Pialligo EstateMy Profile

  2. I love one pot dishes Rachel and this is so healthy. I am not a big fan of cavolo nero but would make this with chard or spinach instead. Lovely flavours, as always, beautiful photograph. I tend to give the stalks to the chickens so they are not wasted but prefer the green leafy bits whereas my mother cooks everything (she has no chickens). This is a Delightful dish 🙂
    Merryn recently posted…June Garden Share CollectiveMy Profile

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