I’m going to post this without too much fanfare. Suffice to say, it’s a cracking recipe which uses the dreaded RC and doesn’t involve apples, vinegar or any spices. Which makes it a jewel among veg box recipes.

This recipe is adapted from Marcella Hazan’s peerless ‘The Essentials of Classic Italian Cookbook‘. After French Provincial Cookery, this is the most well-thumbed and stained book in my humble collection.

Chicken Fricasee with Red Cabbage

Gently saute a sliced onion and a couple of roughly chopped garlic cloves in olive oil until soft and golden. Add a whole, finely shredded red cabbage and season. Stir together and cook over a low heat until very tender and reduced in bulk, perhaps about an hour.

In another pan, warm up olive oil and fry 4 to 8 chicken thighs until brown on both sides. Then add these to the cabbage, along with a glass of red wine and a few grindings of black pepper. Cover the pan and continue to cook slowly for another hour or so. Keep tasting for seasoning – red cabbage benefits from generous salting.

By the end the cabbage should be reduced to a “dark supple sauce for the chicken”.

O ye of little faith, believe, for yea this is a well scrummy recipe. Good for wooing algebraically-inclined wenches, too.

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Red Cabbage Returns

October 10, 2006

Red cabbage

Have to admit, I was dreading the return of the red cabbage. I think research would show that this vegetable is responsible for more people jacking in the whole organic box malarkey than any other.

More than almost any other ingredient, it seems to resist novelty and experimentation. Churlish in company, it stains everything it comes into contact with a deep, moody purple. An essentially solitary vegetable, vinegar and acidic apples seem to be it’s only culinary friends, although onions and sugar occassionally pop round for a neighbourly cuppa.

But treated with respect (braised in the old-fashioned way, with sweet, sour and spicy flavours), this grumpy old bugger mellows and softens. It even becomes, if not the life and soul of the party, at least a warm and charming guest at the table. This Tuesday evening, we invited him round for dinner with a couple of meaty Well Hung bangers.

Red cabbage and sausage

Braised red cabbage

Shred the cabbage fine, wash well and drain. In a large, heavy pan gently saute a sliced onion until soft. Add the cabbage, a tablespoon of sugar, a good glug of wine vinegar, a couple of crushed cloves, two peeled and diced apples. Cover and cook on a very low heat for 2 hours, at least. When the cabbage is soft and reduced in bulk, season well. I reckon this tastes better made a day in advance, and gently re-heated.
(adapted from Leith’s Cookery Bible)

I think we’re going to have to do some serious research into other ways of cooking red cabbage, if we’re going to maintain our veg box sanity this winter. Any of you lot got any favourite ways of cooking this old curmudgeon?