Broccoli Rabe is one of my favorite Italian vegetables. It has a slight bitter finish. For those who grew up in Hawai'i or familiar with Chinese food, the Rabe has the mouth feel of choi sum when eating it.
One of the best and simplest preparation of broccoli rabe is to stir fry it with garlic, chili flakes, salt pepper and fresh lemon juice.
I went to the farmers' market at Union Square here in NYC. For real foodies and people who love to cook, the Union Square Farmers' Market in New York City is simply exciting and a multi sensory experience. On this particular day, a produce farmer from the Hudson Valley area had huge bundles of broccoli rabe. I may or may not have screamed like a little school girl. In Hawai'i we don't get produce like broccoli rabe in huge bundles or that fresh. By the time it makes it to my local grocer, it's tattered and only a few stalks.
Just so happened, on this particular day, there was fresh chicken raised cage free in Upstate New York!
Rounded out my shopping experience with fresh mushrooms, some garlic, rosemary and fresh Italian parsley and went home to make me a damn good meal.
I prepped the pan in which I was going to cook the chicken, headed up some grape seed oil, but before placing the chicken in, I kept the oil on medium low. Added four crushed garlic cloves and some red onions. Left them in the oil for about 10 minutes. Be careful! You do not want the garlic to burn or you'll have to start again, because burnt garlic is the only thing you'll taste in this dish if you leave it in!
Remove the onions and garlic from the oil and keep it on the side for later.
Place your rosemary, salt and peppered chicken in the pan and leave for 7 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and place in the oven for another 10 minutes on 350 degrees.
In the same pan the chicken was cooked in, add mushrooms (whole) and some chopped red onions. Add a splash of white or red wine (up to you!). This will loosen some of the yummy flavor bombs (brown stuff) stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add all of the broccoli rabe in the pan, and some water or chicken stock, just a cup or so. Enough to create enough steam to cook the rabe. Add some chili flakes to the rabe before putting the cover on. Leave for 5 minutes, move the greens around and cook for another 5 minutes.
Plate the greens and mushrooms on a nice platter, leave the liquid in the pot and put on high. Add a cup and a half of half and half or heavy cream, salt and pepper.
Take the chicken out of the oven, place on top of the greens. Any liquids from the oven pan, add to the cream sauce. Let the cream sauce boil for 5 minutes and pour over the chicken!
Finely dice some red onions and Italian parsley and sprinkle over the dish.
Et voilá! I don't know how to say it in Italian.