Skillet Chicken and Braised Cabbage

It’s that time again. It’s $0.03 cabbage time.

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As I’ve said before, I can only find things were I only need 1/2 a cabbage (as demonstrated by my sausage and cabbage stew). Which is rather inconvenient at times since I don’t cook with a lot of cabbage I don’t know what to do with it.

If you do a general Google search of cabbage recipes, something that comes up quite often is braised cabbage. But, many permutations of this recipe involve braising the cabbage in a porter or a stout. An option I would gladly welcome as an avid beer drinker, but something I can’t really do when I have people that are allergic to gluten.

In addition to this, I can be incredibly lazy (of course I suppose lazy is a subjective term in this case since I did have to spend a few hours making the entirety of this meal). But I’m lazy in the sense that I don’t want to clean more dishes than I have to. And luckily for me, one-pot-meals are a thing. Or in this case, one-skillet-meals.

My fantastical $0.03 cabbage is a green cabbage but red cabbage could be used here as well. I think it would add a more interesting color contrast to the final product and be more appealing since green cabbage really just cooks down into a translucent pile. Not very appealing to the eyes. But still delicious.

I removed the core from the cabbage, which only really involves cutting a V-shape through the center and pulling out the core. Then I gave the cabbage a rough chop to have the thick strips of cabbage you see below.

But enough about cabbage, let’s move on to the meat. I used a whole chicken and I butchered out (or at least attempted to) the breasts, thighs, wings, and legs. How do you butcher a chicken? The hell if I actually know. This was actually my first attempt at butchering a chicken and I would say that it was all around a mild success. But I only used information I could vaguely recall from a Worst Cooks in America marathon I watched on New Years day. I’m sure there’s a wikiHow for it though, there’s a wikiHow for everything. In retrospect, I should’ve done more research.

Important side note though! If you do decide to buy a whole chicken and butcher it like I did, make sure you keep the carcass and all the giblets. Those can be used to make a very nice stock later on. Nothing’s better than homemade chicken stock.

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But, after I got all my chicken parts cut up, I seasoned them with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and herbs de provence. If you don’t have herbs de provence, then use your favorite herbs or make your own. Herbs de provence is essentially just savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano, so any combination of those would work well.

I melted a bit of butter in my cast iron skillet and got to work on searing the chicken. I place the chicken skin side down and let it sit there for a good 5 minutes or so. I want a nice color and crispiness to the skin since the skin is the best part of a chicken. Then I turned the chicken over and seared it on the other side for an extra 3 minutes or so. I don’t want the chicken to be cooked through since I’ll be throwing it in the oven.

I removed the chicken from the pan once it was done cooking and set it aside. Then I threw in my cabbage and some baby carrots. I didn’t feel like peeling and chopping up carrots, but that could be used if you don’t want to buy a whole bag of baby carrots for this purpose (although I like to use baby carrots for gazed carrots so I never let them go to waste).

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After letting the cabbage and carrots cook in the skillet for only a minute or so, I pour in some chicken stock and heavy cream. Not the healthiest liquid combination, but it tastes damn good once the cabbage and carrots soak it up. Then I throw the chicken on top of the cabbage in an even layer.

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I put a lid on this (or you can go with foil over the top) and stuck it in a 350˚F oven for about an hour until the breasts were cooked through since they were the thickest piece of meat in the pan. I should note that if you don’t have a cast iron skillet, then use some other pan that’s oven safe. A dutch oven would work pretty well. Or I guess a baking dish can be used as a last resort, but that would require transferring all of this to a separate piece of crockery. And you know what that means? Well for one, you’ll lose some of the flavor from the pan when you seared the chicken. But more importantly: more dishes.

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Anyway, after an hour, pull it out of the oven and you’ll have a nice chicken and cabbage dish that required only one dish to make. Because of the lid over the top of the skillet, the chicken will remain nice and moist and there will be lots of liquid left over.

You’ll noticed that the quality of the last picture far surpasses any of the other shitty images that I’ve included. Funny story about that. Usually I use my iPad camera (since my phone camera is just plain terrible). But in my apartment we have access to a very nice Canon Rebel t5i (a rather recent development too), so that was used to take a couple pictures of the final product. The quality is actually kind of astounding. Now I see why real food blogs use professional photography.

I like to use the leftover liquid to make a gravy that can be poured over the top of the chicken and cabbage. All that really requires is a bit of cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Whisking in cornstarch while heating the liquid on the stove will let it thicken up into a gravy of your desired consistency. I don’t like super thick gravies (since they just make everything feel super heavy) so I only added a few tablespoons of cornstarch and let it boil a little bit to thicken it up.


Skillet Chicken and Braised Cabbage

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cook time: 1.5 hours

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, carved
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs pepper
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 tbs herbs de provence
  • ½ head green cabbage
  • ½ of a 1 lb bag of baby carrots
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F
  2. Butcher whole chicken into parts
  3. Combine salt, pepper, garlic powder, and herbs de provence
  4. Season chicken with spice mixture
  5. Heat butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat
  6. Add chicken, skin side down, and sear for 3-5 minutes or until skin is brown and crispy
  7. Turn over and sear the other side for an extra 2 minutes
  8. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside
  9. Add cabbage and carrots to skillet and toss to coat in the remaining butter, saute for a minute or so
  10. Add in chicken stock and heavy cream, mix to combine
  11. Place chicken on top of the cabbage
  12. Cover and cook in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until chicken is cooked through

Gluten-free


 

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