Metal Recipes: Sauteed Chicken and Kale with Parmesan


Bird. Fire. Death.

Image via The Kitchn.

Where were we last time? India? Britain? Wherever they serve butter chicken and apparently worry too much about postcolonial cultural appropriation. Anyway. Today, contrary to what the Bathory-themed title might imply, we are hitting that strange boot-shaped peninsula that too many Americans associate with The Olive Garden. Italian food might be as close as you come in world cuisine to a win-win situation: much of it is very easy, cheap owing to the prominence of peasant food, pretty healthy (y’know, the whole Mediterranean diet thing), obviously delicious, and partial to big-league (i.e. bigly) flavor coming from simple ingredients not gussied up with a bunch of shit.

So here’s the deal for today. Simple ingredients, big flavors, 30 minutes or less not counting marinating time. Especially good for weeknights when Taco Bell doesn’t sound appealing (does it ever? Commence bitching at will). Serve it next to or on top of pasta or rice; we’re doing the former here, because it’s pasta. Sides … you pick, but it’s hard to go wrong with simple steamed vegetables or a Caprese-style salad. See after the main recipe for another idea in that regard. And as for dessert, whatever. Fresh fruit and burrata is pretty bomb, though.

Giving credit where credit is due, this is adapted from a recipe found on The Kitchn, from which the final (and accurate) image was also sourced.

Sauteed Chicken and Kale with Parmesan

Serves 2-3


  • ¾ lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1” chunks (about the size of a non-gargantuan thumb)
  • 4 c chopped kale (not baby kale; you want the kale that’s obviously been hitting the gym)
  • 6-8 oz pasta of choice (I really like farfalle, the bowtie-shaped stuff, for this)
  • ¼ yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ c dry white wine
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t black pepper
  • ½ t dried basil
  • ½ t dried rosemary
  • Juice of ½ lemon, plus a bit more for serving
  • ¾ c grated Parmesan
  • ½ c Kalamata olives and/or sun dried tomatoes and/or capers and/or anchovies; whatever you like to tart up your pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 T red pepper flakes


In a bowl or Tupperware, combine the chicken, salt, black pepper, basil, rosemary, and lemon juice. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or up to all day if you like. Remove from fridge 30 minutes prior to cooking.

Pat the chicken as dry as possible with paper towels. Set a large skillet over medium-high heat, give it a couple minutes to warm up, then add about 2 T oil, wait until it’s shimmering (not smoking), then add the chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2-3 minutes (err on the side of caution). Use the following ditty as a timer:


Lower the heat to medium and give it a couple more minutes, until cooked through; add a bit more oil if the pan is getting too dry.  Remove to a large serving bowl and cover with foil. 

Pour in ¼ c of the wine. Deglaze the fuck out of the pan by scraping back and forth with a spatula, until you’ve got all the nice crispy chicken bits dislodged. The French call this stuff the fond, and aside from being delicious it’s one of the keys behind getting depth of flavor with anything involving meat. At this point we’ve taken care of the protein aspect, and since protein is conflated with strength in the popular mindset these days, that calls for songs ov strength and power and victory as we continue. Much to Senor Hefe el Rosa’s chagrin, that does not imply Manowar.


Add another tablespoon or so of oil, then add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and almost translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring more frequently now, 1 minute more or until the garlic is very fragrant.

Add the kale and the rest of the wine to the pan, stirring to make sure everything is evenly distributed. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring once a minute or so. You’ll see the kale gradually wilt and cook down; once it’s tender (about 5 minutes), remove from pan and stir it in with the chicken.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente (still a little chewy).


Drain, saving about ¼ c of the pasta water, then remove to a bowl and stir in ½ c of the Parmesan and a bit of black pepper, adding splashes of the reserved pasta water as you do so. As the cheese melts and incorporates with the water, you’ll see a light sauce form. Stir in your olives, tomatoes, whatever you choose to use, then portion it out. Top with the kale and chicken, scatter the red pepper flakes, a bit of lemon juice, and the remaining Parmesan over the top, and you’re good to go.

Oh, and one more thing:

For an easy appetizer or side, take some zucchinis and slice them lengthwise into sticks about the diameter of your pinky; depending on the size of the zucchini this will mean cutting them into quarters or eighths. Toss them together with salt, pepper, oregano, basil or parsley, breadcrumbs, and a small amount of oil or egg white to bind it all together. Spread them out on a baking sheet, spread the leftover breadcrumb mixture (if any) over the top, and bake for 15 minutes or so at 375 Fahrenheit, until golden brown.


That’s all for now. Next time won’t be chicken because I’ve finally used up all the stuff in my freezer, thank the gods. I’m thinking pig.

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  • RepostedAvengedSevenfoldFan2

    What is Synyster Gates of Avenged Sevenfold’s favorite food? Please answer I need to know what to eat on his birthday to celebrate. Which happens to be July 7th. Thank you.

    Update: I’ve seen him eat celery on the MVI, but that’s it.

    Update 2: I’m 13, so I’m not gonna take shots…
    & By food I mean… not liquid.

    -Gretchen asked, 7 Years Ago

  • Señor Jefe El Rossover

    Yeah, well I’ll show you!

    When I cook this, I’ll listen to nothing but MANOWAR

  • Guacamole Jim

    This looks super delicious. Can I substitute kale with spinach? Kale… did things to me.

    • Doc Torluv

      Don’t know what Vlad will say, but spinach is pretty delicate – maybe collards?

    • Spinach, chard, collards, pretty much any leafy green that has some flavor!

      • more beer

        Dude lost my phone 2 weeks ago and with that your number. Shoot me a text.

    • DoYouThinkHeSaurus

      It’s a veggiesaurus Lex! Veggiesaurus!

  • Howard Dean

    Sauteed chicken; garlic; olives >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Kale <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    • Wet W’s Whistle

      Your thoughts on quinoa?

      • Howard Dean

        Mostly edible; best when paired with bold, flavorful ingredients like sweet potato, pickled vegetables, or pine nuts.

  • Doc Torluv

    Vlad, I made the butter chicken this past weekend and it was AMAZING. No fenugreek, but I did make up a batch of ‘homemade’ garam masala from the previous recipes. Thanks for that and I’ll be trying this within the next week! BTW, I did use whole breasts in place of thighs and it turned out great – I think maybe because I didn’t cube it before cooking.

    I’m thinking seriously about submitting a favorite Ethiopian recipe on here if you wouldn’t feel I’m stepping on your toes.

    • Please do! So glad you liked the butter chicken recipe, and that sounds right about using whole chicken breasts.

  • Guacamole Jim

    This is off topic, so downvote it to oblivion. But: does anyone else have issues with the new “categories” tab? It opens occasionally when I haven’t moused over it, and when I do mouse over it, it disappears before I can click on a category. It usually takes me six or seven tries before it’ll stay.

    • Still have some more bugs to fix

      • hey d00d, you’re probably collecting a lot of bugs lately, so here’s just something cool that i really like: the categories up top, like “maybe music” and “not music” 😉

  • GoatForest

    How can I do one of these articles? I know a killer chicken cream bisque recipe.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      Send an email to Toiletovhell[at]gmail[dot]com

      • GoatForest


        • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

          You’re welcome.
          PS. for a moment, I was really, really tempted to answer – “Take a bus from Aquarius Street 12 towards the woods of Skinnarila. Once there, hoot for The Phantom. Remember to take an extension cord, squeeze it tight and hide 10 000 in unmarked paper money ‘neath the big rock. Smell the air. Once you hear thi Bisons and approaching Indians, run. Run like the wind. And remember, don’t call us. We’ll call you. One day. At 7”

  • Waynecro

    This looks delicious and, more important, like it meets most of my dietary requirements and restrictions. If I didn’t hate cooking, I’d probably make it. Thanks, dude!

    • What are your dietary restrictions? Just curious.

      • Waynecro

        It depends. They vary on the basis of what I’m trying to accomplish with my workouts. But because I’m an insulin-dependent diabetic, I usually limit carbs and fats and keep my caloric intake relatively low. A typical meal is a lean protein, a cruciferous veggie, and, if I’m lifting heavy, a small portion of carbs. So chicken and kale with some rice is right on the money for me.

        • Sounds familiar. I did similarly for awhile when I was working out heavily and flirting with paleo/primal ideology. At any rate, I read your comment on the way home and it inspired me, so tonight I’m testing a recipe that might be right on the money for you (lean protein, cruciferous veggie, small amount of carbs, close to zero effort required)!

          • Waynecro

            I don’t like to spend my weekends cooking, so I’m all about zero effort. Lately I’ve just been buying a couple pounds of grilled chicken breast from the supermarket deli and microwaving it with rice and broccoli during the week. I enjoy reading all the recipes you post here, and I’m psyched to see the one you’re testing tonight. Thanks, dude!

      • he can only consume the blood of his enemies

        • Waynecro

          Man, if that were true, I’d never run out of food.

  • Hoooo boy this sounds delicious. Gonna add this to the To Do list.

  • A.P.

    Somehow I thought this would be one of Fharc’s articles. I still wasn’t disappointed.

    • Lacertilian

      Vlad’s singlehandedly keeping the cooking section going these days, I did have a couple of things planned but haven’t got around to writing them out…one day

  • Spear

    I approve of both your taste in music and your taste in leafy greens.