Wednesday dinner: Google’s braised chicken and kale

IMG_2508I’m a Mac guy.

I’m currently writing on a MacBook Pro. I have an iPhone and iPad. I’ve converted probably a half-dozen friends and more students than I can count to the Cult of Mac. That said, Google is one of those stories that intrigues me greatly, from their products to their corporate culture.

Catching my eye recently was an article in the March 2013 edition of Bon Appetit that focused on Google’s commitment to providing their staff healthy dining options. The underpinning was the idea that they demand a great deal from their employees and healthy foods in the cafeteria reduces absenteeism and maintains productivity. From the article:

Though the cafeterias feature their share of decadent offerings (like crispy pork carnitas and butterscotch-pecan-cookie pie), they’re also strategically designed to “make it really easy for people to make healthy choices,” says Scott Giambastiani, Google’s head chef. Borrowing from the field of behavioral economics, Google’s tactics specifically encourage healthy eating.

IMG_2506During my days in college sports, I would regularly put in 10- to 12-hour days. Eating was a function of convenience and what was near. The workload made lunchtime excursions rare. Add in the demands of gameday and it was possible to eat pizza for both meals (I wasn’t eating breakfast at the time) and a post-game snack while working. Not good.

Anyhow, the recipe which accompanied this article was worthy of a try. I mean, chicken and kale…you really can’t go wrong.

WHAT WORKED: The simplicity. Yes, there are 11 ingredients, but most are fresh vegetables. The only one that is processed is the paprika.

WHAT DIDN’T: The recipe called for lemons. I didn’t buy lemons. It was fine.

WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: Another work-related discussion. I’ll take her three trips to the serving plate as a sign of approval.

WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Yes. And maybe next time I’ll grab a lemon.

Google’s braised chicken and kale
Adapted from the March 2013 edition of Bon Appetit

  • 4 chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs separated (JARED’S NOTE: I used all thighs)
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 large bunch kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Sprinkle chicken with paprika; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chicken skin side down and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes; transfer to a plate.

IMG_2504Add onion and garlic to pot and cook, stirring often, until softened, 8-10 minutes. Return chicken to pot; add broth, wine, and herbs. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat; simmer until chicken is cooked through, 30-40 minutes.

IMG_2507Add kale to pot. Cover; cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Discard herbs. Serve chicken and kale with lemon wedges.

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