Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chicken succotash skillet with kale

Last time I prepared succotash for the pages of 'Round the Chuckbox, it featured Southwestern flavors. Mild poblano chili peppers, pinto and lima beans, tomatillos and whole kernel corn combined in the skillet for an interesting flavor profile. Succotash is a great way to add interest to vegetables at the dinner table.

Though often viewed as a mixture of corn and lima beans, succotash takes its name from Narragansett Indian name for boiled or broken kernels of corn. It has its roots in the Native American cuisine. You could say that any mixture of vegetables is succotash.

I enjoy cooking succotash because of it's versatility. Unless you're looking authenticity, let your culinary creativity be your guide. I often begin with whole kernel corn as my foundation. From there, I add meat or vegetables to create the flavor that I'm looking for. It's also a great way to use leftover meat or vegetables.

I prepared this version last night in my outdoor kitchen. It includes flavors that I enjoy. I've included a series of photos to show you how I prepared the succotash. Remember that you can use any combinations of vegetables you desire. Enjoy ...

This Wagner's 1891 Original reproduction 11-3/4-inch skillet is used for most of stovetop cooking at home. My wife and I purchased it over 30 years ago at a Davis, California, hardware as newlyweds. A vintage Griswold skillet with domed lid is one of my key cast iron pieces in the camping outfit.
You can use any cooked chicken or turkey for the succotash. I sautéed a large chicken breast (about 16 ounces), butterflied, in the skillet over medium-high heat. After a brief rest, the chicken was cubed and set aside.
From this point, each step builds on the last. Crisp 4 ounces bacon over medium-high heat. Push the bacon to one side and spoon out the excess grease. You need about 2 tablespoons of fat for the dish.
Next, 1 onion, diced, and 1 red bell pepper, diced, are tossed into the skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add 2 teaspoons minced garlic and continue cooking for an additional two or three minutes.
Roughly chop 1 bunch of kale. Heap in the skillet. Gently stir into the bacon, onion and pepper mixture, taking care not to spill the kale.
The kale will cook down within 3 to 5 minutes. At this point, watch the heat under the skillet so you don't burn the kale.
Pour 16 ounces of frozen whole kernel corn over the kale mixture. Stir into the onion, pepper and kale mixture, and continue cooking until the corn is hot.
Add the diced chicken to the succotash and stir. Bring the dish to serving temperature and season with salt and pepper to taste.
The finished dish -- chicken succotash skillet with kale. It serves 6 to 8.

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