Bechamel Chicken with Cabbage and Leeks

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A great seasonal recipe

We just finished processing our meat chickens for the season, and we had a great year for cabbage, so one day last week I pulled together a recipe for using the left chicken meat from a roast bird along with some chopped cabbage and a leek that also was just ready for harvesting … and it turned into a great meal!

If you don’t have cabbage, then Swiss Chard or Spinach or even Escarole or Endive would work well – actually, I think the bitterness of the chicory family greens would complement these flavors in a really lovely way.

Bechamel Chicken with Cabbage and Leeks

Ingredients
2-3 cups of cooked chicken meat shredded or cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 cups of fresh white (green) cabbage (I like the variety called Tendersweet) cut into bite sized pieces
½ of a medium-large leek, sliced thinly

1 cup of milk
4 bay leaves
1 tbsp plus 1-1/2 tbsp butter
1-1/2 tbsp flour
2-3 garlic cloves – pressed or chopped very fine
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
A sprinkle of nutmeg (I prefer freshly ground)

Directions    Start by preparing the béchamel – Put the milk and bay leaves into a small saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, until little bubbles just start forming along the sides of the milk. Then, remove it from the heat and cover – let it sit and infuse for at least 10 minutes.

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In another medium saucepan (the heavier the better for this part of the recipe), melt the first 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the leaks and cabbage and sauté until softened and sweet. Scoop leeks and cabbage out of pan into a bowl and set aside.

Then add the second 1-1/2 tbsp of butter to pan, and melt over medium heat. Add the flour, and whisk or stir, letting it bubble but not burn for 3 minutes or so. Strain the hot infused milk into the butter mixture, discarding the bay leaves. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens to a nice consistency similar to heavy cream. If it gets too thick, you can add a dash or two more milk.

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Stir in the garlic, chicken meat, leeks, and cabbage. Heat thoroughly, and add salt and pepper to taste. Dust with nutmeg. And enjoy!

Check out this Buttered Cabbage recipe – It is delicious – imparts a similar comfort-food feeling as pasta – truly! And very good for you especially if you use butter from pastured, grass-fed cows.

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Cabbage and Shallot Sauté
Ingredients

1/2 of a small, fresh cabbage, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 2 cups)
1-2 medium shallots, sliced (or you can use onions, scallion, etc.)
1-3 tbsp grassfed butter
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions    Heat butter and oil in a sauté pan. Add shallots and cook just until starting to get tender, about a minute. Add cabbage and cook until bright and tender. But don’t cook too much so it’s mushy. Taste as you go and season…

So good and so healthy! Cabbage is one of the healthiest foods on the earth.

Click here for other healthy sauté recipes on our website.

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