Kale with Chickpeas and Chicken is a flavorful, filling and hearty dish that works well as a lunch or dinner, and can easily be made vegetarian.
When I began this blog, I was focused solely on hitting 100 brand new restaurants in 18 months. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I needed to add another aspect, so that it wasn’t so one-dimensional. I would hit that milestone, and then what? And besides, I didn’t want to stop going to restaurants I’d been to before, because that was kind of like punishing the restaurant for me having eaten there previously. Yes, I realize that’s cryptic logic, but it made complete sense to me. The third dimension was added soon after…recipes.
Until recently, all the recipes I did for the blog were found on Pinterest, and I remade the recipes exactly as they were written. The recipes I found were all delicious, but they were nothing unique. I switched blog platforms from Blogger to WordPress over Christmas, and began going back through all of my old posts. A lot of the pictures of both recipes and restaurants were absymal, so I made a point to begin slowly re-making recipes and revisiting restaurants. It also became an opportunity to add my own twists to those recipes. All the credit for that recommendation goes to my friend April of Uncookiecutter. Her blog has nothing to do with food, but she’s given me lots of great advice over the past year, so I listened.
Kale with Chickpeas and Chicken is adapted from a recipe by Cookin’ Greens that I discovered within the first few months of blogging. I’ve made the recipe numerous times, but for whatever reason I never did a blog post about it. It’s also one of those recipes that I forget about, because it’s way down the list on the Pinterest board.
Every time I eat this dish, I ask myself why I don’t make it more often. And I vow to make it more often. And then I forget for another few months. I don’t know why, because it is absolutely delicious.
One of the things I really enjoy about this dish is the great mix of flavors. Lightly browning the garlic in oil deepens the flavor of the garlic, and the garlic-infused oil provides a wonderful base for cooking the kale and chickpeas. I add homemade veggie broth as it cooks down as well. I’ve kind of become obsessed with slowly cooking onion first, until it becomes golden brown. Again, that adds much more flavor than simply sauteeing the garlic.
I almost always add chicken to recipes, even when the original recipe doesn’t call for it. I guess that means I’ll never become a vegetarian. Whenever I cook with chickpeas I always use dry. I used to buy the canned peas, but it was way too much, and the liquid in the can is kind of gross. It takes a little forethought to use dry beans as they have to soak overnight, but it’s worth it. I also always have mushrooms in the fridge, and throw those into cooking quite often as well.
Kale with Chickpeas and Chicken is one of my favorite dishes to make. I feel like I say that quite a bit, but this one really is high up on the list. It’s filling, flavorful, and really delicious. Now that it’s on the blog, it will remain higher in my memory bank so I will make it more regularly.
- 4 ounces fettucini
- 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, cut into 1/4" slices
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 cup chickpeas, dry or canned
- 2 cups Kale, ribs removed, rinsed, and chopped into small pieces
- 4 ounces baby portobello mushrooms, quartered
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- DRY CHICKPEAS: soak overnight in water. When ready to prepare, add chickpeas and water to pressure cooker, and cook over medium-high heat for 12-15 minutes. Chickpeas should still have some resistance to the bite.
- CANNED CHICKPEAS: rinse thoroughly
- Cook fettucini according to package directions in a pot of salted, boiling water.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Grill until chicken is cooked through.
- In large skillet over medium heat, add margarine and 1 Tbsp olive oil.
- When butter melts, add onions and cook until soft and light golden brown. Remove and set aside
- Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and sliced garlic. Cook until garlic is golden brown. This will not take very long, and the garlic will burn easily, so keep an eye on it!
- Add kale, chickpeas, sundried tomatoes and broth, and cook for 10-15 minutes, until kale is softened
- Add mushrooms and reserved onions, and cook for 2-3 minutes
- Add pasta and grilled chicken, and combine all ingredients together
- Portion into bowls, and top each with freshly grated Parmesan