Spread the Love: Italian Sausage-Kale Stuffed Chicken with Garlic Roasted Broccolini
So today is Valentines Day.
Apparently the one day we are required to show our love for people because we all know the 364 other days of the year are bollocks compared to this one arbitrary one…Well, while I don’t really believe in commercial holidays I do believe in taking the time to show your love in whatever way you feel you want to express it, and if some people need that commercial reminder to do so then I will give Hallmark some kudos. But even for those who have no significant other today and are feeling a bit of a victim to this glorified sugar rush let it be a reminder to nourish and love yourself. Which, again, should be an everyday event because you don’t stop being awesome after today: you are awesome EVERYDAY!
However, I know that I, especially, can often lose sight of my inherent awesomeness. Not often…but it happens. It is hard not to when it almost seems as if our culture is encouraging us to find fault with ourselves. We are constantly bombarded with the subtle (or sometimes not so subtle) messages that we should not be satisfied with where are we are right now. That there will always be something out there to buy, achieve, or be that is better than where or what we are now. It is an insidious message: that we are inherently not OK the way we are. That we need to morph ourselves into some ideal image that doesn’t actually exist in reality in order to be happy and successful, yet we are a nation more unhappy than ever before.
All these should’s and should not’s are a heavy burden to carry from day to day and it is no wonder that our rates of depression and general apathy and dissatisfaction in life are at an all time high. We are being bred to shoot for the stars when we have everything we need inside of us. We don’t need to look outside ourselves for love, happiness, and success- it’s an inside job. It is all about attitude and how you choose to approach life: is your glass half-empty all the time? Do the smallest set backs seem like an apocalyptic event? Or can you roll with the punches and take what life gives you and own it?
Valentine’s Day may just occur one day a year (although that sugar hang over may last a while longer), but self love should be a year-round affair with yourself. Instead of loading up on those awful sweetheart candies, take today to recommit to yourself whatever that means for you. Nourish yourself with some real food, like my stuffed chicken recipe below, and surround yourself with people who reflect your wonderful love back on you.
Italian Sausage-Kale Stuffed Chicken with Garlic Roasted Broccolini
- 1/4# Italian sausage or 1 large link, casing removed (sugar (dextrose!) and preservative free)
- 3 stalks of Kale, leaves removed and medium chopped (approx 1″ x 1″)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, divided
- 2 large boneles, skinless chicken breasts (Hormone & Antibiotic free, organic if possible)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 bunch organic broccolini
- 2 Tbsp EVOO
- S & P to season
- 1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
- 2. In a medium saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp of coconut oil and saute the loose ground sausage on medium-high using a spatula to chop it up finely.
- 3. Once the sausage browns, add the kale and saute until crisp and cooked well. The crisper the better, careful not to burn however.
- 4. Meanwhile, dry off the chicken breasts and, using a boning knife or other thin flexiblke knife, carefully slice into the middle of the breast from the thick end. So the ONLY hole should be at the thick end of the chicken. Carefuly slice a bit further on each side to make more room making sure not to pierce the other end or the sides. Then use a finger to gently widen the hole and make a larger cavity to stuff.
- 5. Once the sausage mixture is done, allow it to cool slightly before stuffing. Tthen, using your hands, gently stuff the mixture inside. It is OK if the kale crumbles and some spread on the outside- it makes for a gorgeous presentation as shown above!
- 6. Once both breasts are stuffed, lightly season them with S & P. Then wipe down the saute pan and heat the other 1 Tbsp of coconut oil on medium-high. Sear the chicken on one side for approximately 3-4 minutes or until golden and crisp then flip and immediately place the pan in the oven.
- 7. Meanwhile, wash the broccolini and trim the end off about 1/2″. Then toss with EVOO and garlic and place evenly spaced on a small greased sheet tray. Place them in the oven at the same time as the chicken.
- 8. Depending on the thickness of your chicken, it should take 12-15 minutes for them to finish cooking as well as the broccolini. When they are done, turn the oven off and remove the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest 5 min leaving the broccolini in the oven unless it looks like it is beginning to burn.
- 9. When you are ready to serve, slice the chicken on a deep diagonal as shown in the above picture and place over a bed of the brocoolini. Enjoy!