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Monday, May 8, 2017

Chicken and Chard Gratin

Hooray for lazy gardening! A small chard patch that I planted last year in the front of my house came up by itself this spring and provided enough for this meal. Chard is often served in soups or as a side dish; try this for a main dish option.

I will probably be a bit inactive on Pie Crust Cookies for the next few months, as I prepare for and care for another type of harvest, due at the end of May. I'll post a picture or two once he's arrived!


Chicken and Chard Gratin

Source: How to Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman

3 T olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 lbs chard
4-8 ounces Gruyere cheese, 1-2 c grated
2 thick slices rustic bread

A couple of notes on ingredients: Bittman offers several flavor variations with cheddar, mozzarella, or Jack cheese, so try these if you don't find Gruyere or if you'd prefer cheaper cheese. Also the bread slices are for bread crumbs; feel free to use 1 c bread crumbs if you already have them on hand.

I'm modifying Bittman's "prep as you go" instructions because prepping chard takes me longer than it does Bittman. Either I'm slow, garden chard is dirtier, or my little person interruptions make it take much longer (probably all three!). I made this recipe last time with young chard and didn't worry about removing the stems, and it turned out great. So I might be more lax about leaving in chopped chard stems in the future.

Begin by prepping the chard, removing thick stems and slicing them thinly. Chop the leaves. Then cut the chicken into chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Turn the broiler to high, and move the rack so it's 6 inches from the heat.

Once the oil is hot, add the chicken to the skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until it loses its pink color, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes. In the meantime, mince the two garlic cloves and grate the cheese.

When the chicken is no longer pink, add the garlic, chard, and another sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook until the chard leaves are just wilted, stirring occasionally, another 3-4 minutes. In the meantime, tear up the bread slices and pulse in a food processor until they are bread crumbs.

When the chard is just wilted, sprinkle the cheese and bread crumbs over the top and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Broil until the cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs are browned and crisp, 2-5 minutes.

Serve with buttered egg noodles for a fast meal.

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