Tomato Braised Chicken with Kale

Each year for Valentine’s Day, my husband and I make dinner together.  Since I usually do all of the cooking, it’s a fun change to have some help and company in the kitchen.

A few years ago, we choose this recipe for Chicken Saltimbocca… I’ve been craving Italian food lately, so when I decided to make braised chicken for dinner, the recipe popped back into my head.  In the end, I didn’t really follow the recipe at all (in fact, I had to search for the recipe because I couldn’t even remember where it was from). I did, however, use it as inspiration to stuff the chicken breast with cheese and prosciutto. You can’t go wrong with cheese and prosciutto.

To balance my love of cheese and prosciutto, I decided to up the anty on the sauce by adding kale.  Kale is one of those super foods that (in my mind) negates the bad things I’m eating and can turn a not-so-healthy dish into a perfectly acceptable one (not that the cheese prosciutto were really that bad… I didn’t use a lot).  Plus, I have to admit that I really like kale.

I had a package of hand made pasta that I bought in a small shop in the Italian North End in Boston, so I ended up serving my chicken and sauce with the pasta.  In the end, it was a flavorful (and fairly healthy) dish that both my hubby and I loved.  I will definitely be making it again!

Tomato Braised Chicken with Kale
(Serves 2 – 4)

  • 2 pieces boneless chicken breast (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
  • 2 thin slices prosciutto
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake (for a less spicy sauce, just use a pinch)
  • 8 ounces fresh kale, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Pound out the chicken until it is flat and about 1/2 inch in thickness.  Top each piece of chicken with half of the shredded cheese and a slice of prosciutto.  Roll up the chicken and secure it with a toothpick or two.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat.  Sear the chicken on each side in the oil, then transfer to a plate and reserve for later.

Add the onion, garlic, basil, oregano, and red pepper to the pan.  Saute until the onion is translucent and tender, about 4 – 5 minutes.  Gradually stir in the kale and wilt it down into the onions and garlic.

Deglaze the pan by adding the red wine and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Stir in the crushed tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper.

Nestle the two pieces of chicken down into the sauce and transfer the skillet to the preheated oven.  Bake until the chicken is cooked through (I recommend a meat thermometer here – 165°F in the center), about 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for a few minutes and adjust the seasonings on the sauce.

After about 5 minutes, remove the toothpicks from the chicken, and slice across the pieces of chicken to make small spirals. Serve the chicken and sauce together with pasta or rice.

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