Cooking with JoJo: All hail the kale

Joey Morasse • Jan 9, 2018 at 9:20 PM

Kale has a long history. It dates back well before the Middle Ages. Soldiers in World War II ate it to gain nutrients they weren’t getting from rationing. 

Today, this form of cabbage has many uses from soups and stews to steamed and in stir-fry. It’s strong flavor pairs well with ingredients like nuts, garlic, onions and soy-based sauces, as well. 

Kale also has a extensive list of health benefits from vitamins K, A and C to minerals such as iron and calcium. While all greens are good for you and should be included in your diet, in my opinion, kale is king. 

For this simple recipe, a large bag of kale greens is sautéed with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper and the addition of minced garlic and lemon juice at the end. Atop the kale are curry-spiced boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

What you’ll need:

• 1 16-ounce bag kale greens.

• 1/8-cup olive oil.

• 1 tsp. minced garlic.

• 1 tsp. salt.

• 1 tsp. course-ground pepper.

• juice of a half lemon.

For the chicken:

• 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, two per person.

• ¼ cup olive oil.

• 1 ½ tsp. red curry powder.

• 1 tsp. salt.

1 tsp. pepper.

• juice of a half lime.

Place the chicken thighs in a Ziploc bag and add all the spices and lime juice. Mix well until the chicken is coated evenly. In a pan on medium heat, add the chicken and cook to brown each side. Reduce the heat to allow the chicken to cook through while you cook the kale. 

In a hot pan, add ¼-cup olive oil, and when the oil is up to temperature and slightly smoking, start adding the kale a handful at a time and spread evenly in the pan. 

Don’t worry, much like spinach, it will cook down quickly, so if your pan gets too full, simply stir and fold in the kale as it starts to wilt, and add more. 

Once wilted, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add water around the edges to steam the kale. Add a lid and reduce the heat to low for two to three minutes. 

In the center of the wilted kale, make a well and add in the minced garlic and allow it to cook for about two to three minutes or until browned. Stir the garlic into the kale to incorporate it throughout. 

Place the kale in the center of the plate and add a squeeze of lemon and place the chicken on top. The bold flavors of the chicken with the citrus punch of the kale is delicious and makes for a meal you won’t feel guilty eating. Enjoy.

Cooking since he could pull a chair up to the stove at 5 years old, Joey Morasse, of Lebanon, is the owner and operator of JoJo’s Barbecue and Catering. He is also a personal chef and offers in-home cooking classes.


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