First, I have to apologize for not posting last week. I was not prepared as I had too many recipes which had not been converted to electronic format and the food notebook is well, for lack of better words, something that looks like the rants and scribblings of a lunatic. The notes do not translate well (kind of like seeing Swahili for the first time) and are not electronic.
Now I believe that everyone needs a quest or something to strive for. Is it wrong that my current culinary quest is to stuff everything in the cabbage family? I have been looking at Savoy cabbage for quite some time, not in an inappropriate way mind you, and have been wondering with what I could possibly stuff it. I wanted to have something lighter than regular stuffed cabbage which leaves you with that, I don’t know, feeling that you just ate a bowling ball. I decided on chicken because the boneless – skinless breasts take on flavors well and are easy to work with and frankly, I have already done the “shrimp thing”. Finally, I cannot lay claim to thinking of the Frank’s Sweet chili sauce as a topper for these beauties because my wife came up with the idea during her heating them up for lunch the next day. Without further delay, here is the recipe. Mind you, this recipe is a bit labor intensive but so very worth the effort. I shared this with some of the ladies at work and they loved them!
Putting on the Savoy
(Chicken stuffed Savoy cabbage)
The Well Fed Cyclist – Gary Bechard
2 – Chicken breasts, boneless – skinless, baked, shredded and fine diced (I went ahead and did 3 with one of them becoming an awesome chicken sandwich the next day)
1 1/2 cups – Basmati rice, about 4 servings (I used Uncle Ben’s for simplicity) prepared according to package instructions.
1 – Small head of Savoy cabbage
1/3 cup – Green onions, chopped (Stuffing mixture)
1/3 cup – Mushrooms, fine chopped, I used cremini mushrooms (baby portabellas) (Stuffing mixture)
For the roasting of the chicken:
1 tsp – Kosher salt
1 tsp – Coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp – Smoked paprika
6 sprigs – Thyme leaves
1 tbsp – Rosemary leaves, fine chopped
1/4 cup – Chicken stock
Preparation – Take the chicken breasts and place in a small baking dish in which you have put the chicken stock, season with the salt, pepper, smoked paprika, thyme and rosemary. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 35 to 40 minutes or until they are done (internal temperature 165 to 170 degrees) and set aside to cool. Note: you can always do the chicken a day ahead if you would like to cut down on preparation time on the day you are stuffing the cabbage.
While the chicken is doing its thing in the oven, core the cabbage head by taking a 3 to 4 inch deep cone around the stem of the cabbage. The cone should be about the same length as a good paring knife. Place the cabbage head in water topside down and boil for about 35 minutes (nifty it is the same amount of time as the baking time on the chicken, eh?) or until the leaves begin to soften. Once the cabbage head is done, take and set in a colander to drain and cool.
Construction Instruction –
Rice – I used Uncle Ben’s rice because it is easy and only takes 10 minutes. Cook the rice according to the package directions drain well and set aside.
Stuffing Mixture – Take your chicken and fork shred and fine dice and toss into a very large bowl. Next add, cooked rice, green onions and mushrooms. Now you are ready to fold everything together until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Creating the stuffed leaves – First, make your “production line” in a pretty large working area of the kitchen with the colander that contains the cabbage, then the stuffing bowl, a large flat plate on which to stuff and fold the cabbage leaves then your baking dish. In the baking dish (a deep 9” X 13”) or similar dish (the one that I use is about 2 ½ “ to 3” deep) put about a ¼ inch (about a 1/3 cup) of chicken or mushroom stock in the bottom to keep the leaves moist during the baking process. Working from the outside of the cabbage head take a leaf and place on the plate with stem side toward you, spoon about a couple of tablespoons worth of the mixture in the center. The amount of mixture will vary with the size of the leaves.Then, take the stem side and fold over top of the mixture so that the end is at the edge of the pile of mixture, next, fold each side to the center and finally take the far end and fold toward you. Take the completed packet and place with the smooth side up in the baking dish. Repeat, this process until you have a layer of packets along the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Plating – I plated these 2 to 3 per person and allow each person to put the amount of Frank’s brand sweet chili sauce they desire on top. I served this with a double helping of stir-fried vegetables.
The Well Fed Cyclist