Thursday, February 7

Chicken & Chard Penne

I eat so much kale that I often disregard other types of winter greens: mustards, collards, etc., but I recently reignited a love for Swiss chard after making this dish. Between the bags of washed and chopped chard that Trader Joe’s recently started stocking and the colorful varieties at our farmer’s market, it’s tough to pass up. The leaves are more delicate than some other greens and cook down quite quickly, but I found that dicing the more fibrous stems and adding them to my cooking adds a wonderful texture and flavor. Here, sautéed chard is mixed with roasted chicken, whole wheat penne, and a generous handful of Parmesan cheese for a well-rounded main course.

Chicken & Chard Penne:
  • Brush 1 boneless skinless chicken breast with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Place chicken on a baking sheet and roast in a 375F oven for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
  • Let chicken cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces.*
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, season with salt, and cook 1 lb. whole wheat penne pasta until al dente.
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and add in the finely diced stems from 2 bunches of Swiss chard.
  • Cook for 4-5 minutes, then add in 1 heaping tbsp. of minced garlic and a pinch of red chile flakes.
  • Cook for another minute, or until garlic is fragrant, then add in the chopped leaves of the chard.**
  • Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until leaves have wilted.
  • Add in 1/4 c. white wine and 1/3 c. chicken stock and cook for a few minutes until wine has reduced.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1 c. pasta cooking liquid, and add to the chard along with the chicken.
  • Sprinkle 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese over the pasta and toss until combined, adding some of the pasta water in to moisten.
  • Check for seasonings, divide onto plates, and serve with more Parmesan, if desired.

Serves four - six
*Or use leftover or rotisserie chicken. Can be done a day in advance and kept in the fridge.
**I like to add the washed leaves while they're still a little wet, which helps them wilt. Chard may need to be added slowly in batches and wilt a little before all of it will fit in the skillet.