Wednesday, February 10, 2010

3X Chicken - Part III: Creamed Cabbage a la Martha

So, the other day I'm at a school meeting and I happen to mention to my friend Sheryl that I was about to post again, and she goes: Not more chicken!


Yes, more chicken - because I promised I'd tell you what I did with that last bit of chicken from two weeks ago. (Dear God! Two weeks? How'd THAT happen?)

But after this chickeny story, I promise to do something else, because actually I've made quite a lot of other kinds of food since the chicken but I just haven't had time to get it all down. I do occasionally work, you know. Over the past 2 weeks I've had a newsletter to create, and some long-time clients who need help with manuscripts. Plus my Ladies! - which is this little creative writing group I lead. Very fun, and we haven't met in a long long time and I've missed them dearly. And then, of course, there's been THIS:

which means girls home from school and everyone wants cookies. Which I made. And which (I promise, Robin) I'll post. Soon. I will. Really soon.

Alright: down to business. That last bit of chicken, which was already poached (if you remember) and some of which was made into soup, was finally added to a very tasty, though rich, cream cabbage dish I stole borrowed from Martha, (and for which there will be no picture because I am a spaz and deleted it by mistake.) (Also, I tried to find a link to the recipe at, but it wasn't there, so if you want the original recipe you'll have to get your hands on the January 2010 issue.)

Creamed Chicken, Spinach and Cabbage

1/2 head of cabbage - MS recommends green, but I had a head of Napa, and I think you could use anything. My cabbage was very tender - but if yours is one of the crunchier type, I suggest a quick par-boil, the instructions for which are below.

2 cups of fresh baby spinach (you could do this whole thing with spinach as far as I'm concerned - and just about any amount is fine, adjust seasoning accordingly)

3 TBLS of unsalted butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 small onion, diced, or 1 leek cleaned, trimmed - using white part only

2 cups warm milk (Martha says use whole milk, I use 2% Lactose Free, and it was just FINE)

1 cup of shredded cooked chicken

1/4 cup plus 1 TBLSP finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or just use Parmesean if you don't have this)

1 TBLSP finely grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons - and if you don't have lemons don't panic - you can leave them out all together and it will be ok, OR you can instead of lemons grate about 1/8 tsp of nutmeg into this.)

Preheat oven to 350. If you need to parboil the cabbage: bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add cabbage, cover and steam until tender, about 5 min. Drain and cool slightly.

If your cabbage is a tender variety, just rinse it and the spinach, make sure all grit is gone. Give the greens a good shake and pat them dry with paper towels, then cut them into strips - taking the spine out of the cabbage first.

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan, add onion or leek, stir over low heat until soft. Slightly raise temp, stir in flour and cook until bubbling but not brown. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until it's incorporated into the flour and the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat, and add 1/4 cup cheese and lemon zest, then fold the cabbage, spinach and shredded chicken into the whole thing. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon into a shallow casserole dish (Martha recommends 6 cup capacity - but I have no idea how big the one I used was: every thing fit and fit fine, that's all I know.) Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of cheese over the whole thing. Bake about 30 - 35 minutes or until it's slightly browned and bubbling. Let stand a bit - 5 or more minutes - before serving.


  1. Are you kidding? All my husband eats is chicken and I can't come up with enough recipes, I personally would never complain about too much chicken. I think people don't make awesome chicken recipes enough! Sadly, he HATES cabbage and cooked cabbage? Never in a million years but this sounds great to me. It's something my Mom would love too which warms my heart. They don't show Martha in Canada anymore, what a bummer.

    About the dumplings, you could cook them ahead I suppose but this is so much easier and faster, you just have to steam them long enough. I hope you try them, they were such a treat and yes, they're made with chicken! :)

  2. I think chicken is my middle name (and I'm referring to it as food, not a character flaw LOL)...this recipe sounds wonderful! I think I'd have to go with the suggested all spinach....YUM!


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