Chicken & Kale Broth, Paprika Croutons

Ingredients

2 chicken thighs or legs, boned (Breast can be used but I prefer to go for flavour and value.)

300ml chicken stock

A few choice leaves of kale such as; cavolo nero, curly, hungry gap, spring greens, ornamentals etc.

Chopped soft herbs of choice such as; chives, parsley, tarragon and/or basil

1tbsp lemon juice

White bread for croutons

½ garlic clove, minced

Smoked paprika

Sunflower oil for frying

Olive oil or rapeseed oil for drizzling

Seasoning

Butter

Method

1) Cube the white bread roughly 2cm square and fry in butter and a little smoked paprika with the garlic until browned and crisp, drain on paper towel.

2) Brown the chicken in a hot pan with a little oil and butter, finish in a hot oven for 3 or 4 minutes and set aside.

3) Heat the chicken stock and add the kale leaves to simmer for 1-2 minutes.

4) Add the herbs, lemon juice and simmer another minute.

5) Carve the chicken into oblique pieces and drop into the mix just as you take off the heat.

To serve

Divide the hearty goodness between two large bowls, artfully dot the croutons and drizzle with your favoured oil. If you are lucky enough to obtain a few psychedelic ornamental leaves, leave them raw and sparsely arranged on top.  Some finely grated hard cheese such as Parmesan or even Cornish gouda wouldn’t go amiss too, and a glass (or two) of white wine is perfect for this sort of supping.

Notes:

Some vegetables bring out a strong divide in the populace. However, kale has found itself to be yet another humble ingredient made all the rage due to its robust health properties and a few celebrity goop endorsements. It’s so plentiful, so inexpensive and infinitely versatile.  Kale will literally marry with just about any primary ingredient, needs little cooking in most instances, brightens up a bland looking dish with a vibrant green and really does keep us going through the droopy winter months.

My favourite is cavolo nero or Italian black cabbage, and the recipe here can be made with a little urgency in about 15 minutes. Healthy, fast and good tasting food.  Seasonal and cheap.

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