Pan-Seared Chicken with Wine-Braised Cabbage and Rhubarb

A couple weeks ago I talked about ingredients that are hard to use up in a household of two. The example that day was corn tortillas. Conveniently, these can be frozen. But inevitably every week I end up throwing out some produce that’s retired itself before I could get to it – half a pepper or cucumber, a couple carrots, some wilted cilantro. Or, the better portion of a head of cabbage. Cabbage is something I have particular trouble using up for just the two of us – once you start grating or slicing it, the amount of food there is just endless! Strangely enough, Ben and I don’t mind munching on extra cabbage straight from the fridge, but I still welcome the opportunity to use it in another dish.

Remember those delicious duck tacos? That recipe left us with more than half a head of red cabbage (and that was after sacrificing at least 1/4 of it to the trash, after grating it in the food processor and deciding that was much finer than I wanted it.) The evening also left us with a good glass or so of red wine in the bottle. Some might consider it a disgrace not to finish it off, but knowing I had to get up early the next day, I tucked it away for future cooking possibilities.
I realized I made the right choice, flipping through the new Bon Appetit the next day. A recipe for salmon over red wine-braised cabbage topped with rhubarb caught my eye. Better yet, a suggestion to substitute pan-seared chicken was offered. That sounded good to me since I already an idea for salmon on the coming week’s menu.
The idea of using rhubarb in a savory dish made me giddy, as new ingredients usually do. There was one little problem, though. Rhubarb recipes, like those with cranberries, always call for tons of sugar to cut the fruit’s tartness. When I calculated the nutritional information using the original recipe, the sugar and calorie content was much too high for my liking. This turned out to be the perfect opportunity to experiment with stevia in my cooking.
With a few other small changes, and a side of allspice-and-ginger roasted rutabaga, this turned out to be one of the most interestingly flavorful meal we’d had in a while. There was an overall sweet tone from the wine-y cabbage, contrasted by peppery arugula and cool, tangy yogurt. The stevia and citrus juice sweetened the rhubarb just enough, leaving plenty of its characteristic tartness in tact. If you’re one who can handle a lot of contrasting flavors at once, or you just happen to have some extra cabbage and feel like being adventurous, this might just be your perfect meal. And if you just can’t wait to make this and end up buying a new head of cabbage, I’d love to hear your ideas for using up the rest of it!

Pan-Seared Chicken with Wine-Braised Cabbage and Rhubarb
Adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2010
Printable Recipe

1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/2 cup fresh orange juice*
1/4 teaspoon powdered stevia extract
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
4 oz fresh rhubarb, cut into matchsticks
3 cups (200gm) thinly sliced red cabbage
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 5oz each
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup arugula
2 oz plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Bring orange juice, stevia, water, and orange peel to boil in large skillet. Reduce heat to medium; add mustard, coriander, caraway seeds, and ginger. Simmer until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Add rhubarb; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until rhubarb is tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer rhubarb to a microwave-safe dish and set aside.

Bring syrup in skillet to simmer. Stir in the wine and cider vinegar. Add cabbage, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until cabbage is soft and most of liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, pound chicken breasts to 1/4″ thickness and season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat, and add the chicken. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove from heat and keep warm.

Reheat reserved rhubarb in microwave just until warm.

Divide warm cabbage among 2 plates. Scatter arugula atop and around cabbage. Top each plate of cabbage and arugula with a piece of chicken, and finish with a dollop of yogurt and the warm rhubarb.

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 300.8
Total Fat: 5.6 g
Cholesterol: 82.3 mg
Sodium: 138.4 mg
Total Carbs: 19.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
Protein: 38.3 g

*Hint: Orange juice is another item I avoid buying, because we’d never get through it, not being big juice drinkers. Although sometimes a bit pricier, I’d rather just buy a couple fresh oranges to make enough juice for a recipe, and not have to waste anything.

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21 Responses to “Pan-Seared Chicken with Wine-Braised Cabbage and Rhubarb”

  1. 1

    Bridget — April 26, 2010 @ 4:05 pm Reply

    I don't have too much of a problem with cabbage – it lasts a long time, and I love slaw. Celery is the main ingredient that I try not to buy, because I end up using one stalk and then the rest wilts, forgotten, in the fridge. My favorite way to use up cabbage, which I'm actually going to make tomorrow, is pickled slaw. The recipe in on my site, and I got it from Smitten Kitchen. It's just shredded cabbage and a few other vegetables, lightly pickled in a vinegary brine. It's nice because you add a lot of flavor but no fat (there is sugar in the brine, but you may be able to use a low/no-calorie substitute), and it lasts for a while in the fridge, so it makes for an easy healthy snack.Wine-braised cabbage sounds delicious too; I should definitely try that soon.

  2. 2

    Bridget — April 26, 2010 @ 4:05 pm Reply

    I don't have too much of a problem with cabbage – it lasts a long time, and I love slaw. Celery is the main ingredient that I try not to buy, because I end up using one stalk and then the rest wilts, forgotten, in the fridge. My favorite way to use up cabbage, which I'm actually going to make tomorrow, is pickled slaw. The recipe in on my site, and I got it from Smitten Kitchen. It's just shredded cabbage and a few other vegetables, lightly pickled in a vinegary brine. It's nice because you add a lot of flavor but no fat (there is sugar in the brine, but you may be able to use a low/no-calorie substitute), and it lasts for a while in the fridge, so it makes for an easy healthy snack.Wine-braised cabbage sounds delicious too; I should definitely try that soon.

  3. 3

    Kelsey — April 26, 2010 @ 4:31 pm Reply

    holy this sounds good!!

  4. 4

    roxan @ kitchen meditation — April 26, 2010 @ 5:42 pm Reply

    Hi Cara! Thanks for this recipe. I totally know what you mean about trying to use up all the produce. It's so hard! It's always a huge victory when I used ALL of mine up.RE: using wine to cook. For the most part bottles of wine don't last very long in my home. But what's the longest you recommend that I keep an open bottle around for use in cooking? Can it be kept longer than if I were keeping it for drinking? :)

  5. 5

    Maria — April 26, 2010 @ 6:00 pm Reply

    We have four rhubarb plants. It is almost ready! I can't wait to start cooking and baking with it. Great recipe!

  6. 6

    Mary — April 26, 2010 @ 7:02 pm Reply

    This really looks like a delicious meal and you've cooked it beautifully. I hope you are having a great day. I'm so glad you enjoyed the chili. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  7. 7

    pugsx4 — April 26, 2010 @ 7:04 pm Reply

    My husband loves rhubarb and I love cabbage, sounds like a great match. Great idea about using the stevia, I've been wary about using it to cook with as I'm unsure of the measuremants I should use.Great post. Always love your recipes!

  8. 8

    Miriam — April 26, 2010 @ 10:03 pm Reply

    This looks mad good! Hungry.

  9. 9

    Emily — April 27, 2010 @ 2:24 am Reply

    Oooh fancy! I bet this was really flavorful. I love rhubarb.

  10. 10

    grace — April 27, 2010 @ 8:48 am Reply

    searing and braising and sweet-tart rhubarb, oh my! what a classy dish, cara–nice post.

  11. 11

    yumventures — April 27, 2010 @ 1:14 pm Reply

    I feel the same way about cabbage — I just made a great hot Asian slaw that used up a ton of it! I will also chop some into my work lunches in the morning if I have a lot of leftovers – little by little they get used up. Good thing cabbage lasts a while!

  12. 12

    Brandi — April 27, 2010 @ 1:20 pm Reply

    i always need new recipes for cabbage. I always seem to have too much when I buy it for one or two recipes.

  13. 13

    Dawn — April 27, 2010 @ 2:41 pm Reply

    We end up throwing some out too. The baby doesn't eat much and Chris doesn't really eat leftovers so I end up trying to eat the rest of the veggies myself before they go bad. Man I don't think I've had rhubarb since I was a kid. That brings back memories….

  14. 14

    Amy Green — April 27, 2010 @ 8:50 pm Reply

    I love using stevia in sauces that usually call for sugar. No one ever knows the difference. I make a fabulous marinara with stevia – your meal looks delicious. I'd love to have this for dinner.Thanks for a great recipe!!Amy @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-Freewww.SimplySugarAndGlutenFree.com

  15. 15

    Taste of Beirut — April 28, 2010 @ 2:05 pm Reply

    CaraYou never fail to prepare delicious and healthy meals every time! Love that one! (I am gonna have to taste rhubarb one of these days!)

  16. 16

    Shannon — April 29, 2010 @ 2:35 am Reply

    so intrigued by this!! definitely giving it a try :) i don't often jump to buy a whole head of cabbage cooking for 1 unless i have something in mind, but this might tip the scale!

  17. 17

    Kerstin — May 1, 2010 @ 2:44 am Reply

    What a unique and tasty way to serve chicken! It looks so flavorful and I know Apolinaras would especially love the cabbage. I feel like I always have wilted cilantro too :(

  18. 18

    bodavian — May 24, 2010 @ 4:54 pm Reply

    I've been toying with the concept as rhubarb as a mean-course lately too. This looks like a very interesting recipe, and I look forward to trying it out. In the meanwhile (since I have an excess of rhubarb in the garden), I've been sauteing stalks up and playing around. (It tastes great with the Stevia, thanks!)So far, rhubarb yogurt with cinnamon and vanilla has turned out quite decently, with a little honey drizzled on top. Thanks again, I quite enjoy your very creative creations.

  19. 19

    bodavian — April 5, 2011 @ 1:16 am Reply

    I've been toying with the concept as rhubarb as a mean-course lately too. This looks like a very interesting recipe, and I look forward to trying it out. In the meanwhile (since I have an excess of rhubarb in the garden), I've been sauteing stalks up and playing around. (It tastes great with the Stevia, thanks!)So far, rhubarb yogurt with cinnamon and vanilla has turned out quite decently, with a little honey drizzled on top. Thanks again, I quite enjoy your very creative creations.

  20. 20

    yumventures — April 5, 2011 @ 1:16 am Reply

    I feel the same way about cabbage — I just made a great hot Asian slaw that used up a ton of it! I will also chop some into my work lunches in the morning if I have a lot of leftovers – little by little they get used up. Good thing cabbage lasts a while!

  21. 21

    Brandi — April 5, 2011 @ 1:16 am Reply

    i always need new recipes for cabbage. I always seem to have too much when I buy it for one or two recipes.

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