Contrary to what some believe, the Irish do not subsist solely on their famous comfort food, corned beef and cabbage. Just like anywhere in the world, the Irish eat a variety of delicious dishes consisting of meats, poultry, several varieties of seafood, as well as vegetables and other ingredients indigenous to their region. The following Irish Chicken & Cabbage is quick and easy to assemble, and combines chicken with Ireland’s ubiquitous cabbage (because it grows well there) and crisp bacon. Potatoes are the preferred accompaniment and can be mashed, baked, steamed, or pan-fried. The recipe can easily be doubled for more servings; use a 6-7 quart slow cooker in that case.
Irish Chicken & Cabbage cooks in the slow cooker, and since the newer slow cookers cook at higher temperatures than those early avocado green ones from the 70’s (warm is approximately the old low; low is approximately the old high; and high is higher than them all), cooking time is shorter. If plans are to be away all day, it’s a good idea to purchase a timer that can be set to start the cooking about 3 hours before you plan to return home. The timers are available at most department and variety stores, and are very inexpensive.
This dish is elegant enough to serve at the annual St. Patrick’s Day get-together, but simple enough to prepare for a weeknight. Irish Soda Bread is great for sopping up the creamy sauce. For those who insist on serving green food on St. Patrick’s Day (certainly not the Irish), the cabbage is naturally green, so no food coloring is necessary, and your guests will still have white teeth after eating.
1/2 pound thick sliced lean bacon, diced
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (about 6 small or 4 large)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
1 pound green cabbage, cut into 1" x 3" shreds (about 1 large head)
1/2 cup double strength chicken broth, (or two bouillon cubes dissolved in 1/2 cup water)
1/4 cup heavy cream
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp.
- Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain.
- Add the chicken pieces to the skillet with the bacon drippings, and brown on each side.
- Remove from the pan; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Toss the onion and cabbage in the remaining bacon drippings; transfer to the crock of a slow cooker.
- Place the chicken breasts on top of the cabbage mixture, sprinkle with the crisp bacon, and pour the chicken broth over all.
- Cover and cook on low 3-5 hours or until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked through.
- Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until almost boiling (2-3 minutes); pour over the chicken.
- Serve immediately, or turn the slow cooker to warm; it should be served within the hour.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 166 Calories from Fat 100
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 61% Protein 16% Carb. 23%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 26 g
Cholesterol 38 mg
Sodium 1222 mg
Total Carbohydrate 10 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 7 g
Vitamin A 6% Vitamin C 73% Calcium 0% Iron 4%