Sunday, January 31, 2010

Chicken and kale -- no, not together...

Here's a quick dinner that I threw together yesterday after successful plumbing adventures and some unsuccessful shopping.

The kale recipe is a variation on something the lovely Carol saw in the paper: kale with cream. The recipe is all over the web but here's my variation.

  • Strip the leaves off (⇒ discarding the stems)
    • 1 bunch of kale
    then steam the leaves for about 20 minutes or until tender.
  • Combine in a bowl:
    • 1 Tbs stock
    • 1 Tbs butter or margarine
    • 1 Tbs milk (or soy milk)
    • a pinch of nutmeg
  • When the kale is tender, drain it and add it, still hot, to the bowl.
The heat from the kale will melt the butter. You're done!

The original recipe (which makes way too much, unless you're feeding a family of eight herbivores) says to chop the kale. This is a waste of time IMO because the stuff is so soft after boiling/steaming. Oh, and the original recipe tells you to boil the kale, which takes a lot more water than steaming and probably loses more vitamins....

About the chicken. It seems to be an open secret that a chicken roasted with no seasoning whatsoever is still delicious. What I did last night was simplicity itself. I had a 4-pound chicken.

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Spray a roasting pan and rack with cooking spray.
  • Discard the giblets.
  • Remove the backbone (I used a Cutco® knife) or just cut down one side of the spine
  • Flatten the bird onto the roasting rack (in the pan), skin side up. You'll break the breastbone.
  • Discard wing-tips if you like.
  • Place the rack in your preheated oven.
  • After 30 minutes, cut the oven temp down to 350° and put a little aluminum foil over the breast.
  • Start checking the temperature about 15 minutes later with an instant-read thermometer. You're done when the thigh reads 190°.
If your bird is smaller than 4 pounds you might want to reduce the times a bit. It's that simple.

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