Saturday, October 23, 2010

Eggless Chicken Cabbage Bread Pudding

There's nothing like not having the ingredients you want to get you creative in the kitchen. Once again being stymied by my small pantry and a nearly nonexistant fridge has led to a genius dinner. This savory autumn dish is almost exclusively made of leftovers and is simple to make. The apples add just a touch of sweetness.

Eggless Chicken Cabbage Bread Pudding

1 lb leftover chicken meat, cooked then chopped or shredded
1/2 large cabbage, about 6 cups, roughly chopped
2 apples, cored and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups buttermilk
1 raisin pumpernickle cinnamon bagle, cubed
1/2 loaf stale Italian, French or other peasant bread (about 1/2 lb), chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

If your bread is extremely hard, cut it in larger chunks and soak it in the buttermilk until it becomes easier to chop, approximately an hour.

Heat a large frying pan over low heat and add in the olive oil and cumin. When the seeds just become fragrant, add in the cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Saute, stirring lightly until the cabbage is wilted. If it toasts a little that's fine - I love the crisp texture and smoky taste of slightly toasted cabbage. Add in the garlic and saute for a few moments longer, until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and let cook for two more minutes.

Pour the cabbage mix into a large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients except for the butter and cornstarch. Stir lightly until everything is well distributed. Add in the cornstarch. By this time the other ingredients will have cooled slightly, so the cornstarch won't congeal immediately.

Butter a large baking casserole with the butter, reserving any excess butter.

Pour the cabbage/apple/bread mix into the baking dish. Dot with the excess butter. Bake this for approximately 30-40 minutes until the top is crispy and lightly browned.

Serves 4-6

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