Cabbage is the vegetable of the week. It’s just a pleasing vegetable not only to eat but also to look at, and I couldn’t remember the last time I cooked one. I wanted to use it with a light meat so free-range chicken it found and I set about cooking something hearty but fresh to reflect this beauuuutiful weather we’ve been having, it’s April and 22°C every day, madness, I want to chuck away my winter clothes and whack out my skirts and sun dresses, but if I did that at this time of year, I may as well wear a sign that that says ‘YURRITE MATE? I’M BRITISH’, so I’m waiting for a little while longer.
So Italian was the route I took and as is the case with pretty much all choices where Italian cuisine is concerned, it was the right decision to make.
I wasn’t quite sure how to create the end result I saw in my head, so I used the ‘Cod and Chorizo Stew‘ I ate back in England as the base for my method in terms of half-poaching half-roasting the chicken breasts to keep them moist and tasty, organic as always.
– 3 organic, free range chicken breasts
– 3/4 of a savoy cabbage, sliced
– 1 red onion, finely sliced and diced
– 250g kidney beans, rinsed and drained
– 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced
– 500ml home-made chicken stock
– Large handful of finely chopped fresh basil
– Handful of finely chopped fresh oregano
– Handful of finely chopped fresh sage
– 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 400g chopped tomatoes, with juices.
– Freshly ground black pepper
– Pinch of sea salt
– (I lacked this but) Parmesan for grating
– Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 and heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish before softening the garlic
– Stir in the cabbage, wait for a couple of minutes for it to start to cook, before adding in the chicken stock, tomatoes and kidney beans.
– Wait for the juices to reduce a bit, before adding in half of the sage and basil.
– While they cook, season your chicken with pepper and the rest of the sage, oregano and basil all over.
– In an oven-proof dish, pour in the kidney bean, trying to keep most of the cabbage at bay, the lay the cabbage on top, creating little spaces for the chicken breasts to be poached by the sauce.
– Lay the chicken on the spaces and put in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese like I didn’t do, and we soaked up the juices with the focaccia bread with olives from Chambelland.