Try this fresh, light Kale Hazelnut Charred Onion Slaw with chicken for a healthy, low-cal and tasty meal. Or toss it with ravioli for a vegetarian version.
I found the ravioli version online in 101 Cookbooks and loved the look of it. After I tried it, I loved the great combination of flavors and textures too. I decided use the slaw as a topping for chicken, keeping with the lighter theme. Pork chops or pork tenderloin will be my next try.
The ‘slaw’ as I’m calling it has a lot going for it – crunchy toasted hazelnuts, soft sweet onions with some charred and caramelized bits, zesty lemon and of course the bright green kale packed with protein, fiber and vitamins. It tops a simple baked chicken breast so the whole meal is really healthy and light in calories.
Needless to say, you can use the slaw as a side instead for pretty much any protein. Hey…delicious, pretty and nutritious – not bad.
Tailor To Your Taste
- Use chard or baby spinach instead of kale.
- Instead of baked, you can use grilled chicken or sous vide chicken (instructions found in the recipe)
- Use toasted walnuts or mixed nuts instead of hazelnuts (but the hazelnuts are soooo good!)
- Add some dried cranberries for sweetness or even diced fresh mango or grapes.
- Instead of sauteing the onions try our grilled Charred Onions.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese as a garnish.
Make a vegetarian (and shortcut) version of Kale Hazelnut Charred Onion Slaw with Ravioli. Boil fresh store-bought ravioli for a few minutes, then toss with the slaw.
Make the slaw several hours ahead and add the nuts before serving. In fact, it’s good to let the flavours meld for at least 15 minutes. The chicken can be cooked up to 3 days ahead and served cold or warmed in the microwave for a minute.
Light Kale Hazelnut Charred Onion Slaw with Chicken Recipe
For Baked Chicken (for sous vide method see Note 1)
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil (or melted butter)
- seasoning mixture: 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon EACH ground pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika
For Kale Slaw
- 2 tsp oil
- 1 medium-large onion, thinly sliced
- pinch salt
- 1 cup kale, packed
- 1/2 lemon, (zest and 1 tablespoon juice)
- 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- OPTIONAL GARNISHES: freshly grated Parmesan cheese; dried cranberries, chopped green onion
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- BRINE CHICKEN (optional). Note 3
- PREPARE AND BAKE CHICKEN BREASTS: Use heal of hand to pound breasts to even thickness. Rub breasts with olive oil (or melted butter), sprinkle with seasoning mixture on both sides. Bake for 12-16 minutes depending on thickness of breasts. Instant thermometer should read 160F (it will rise with resting). Let rest (important!) loosely covered for 5-10 minutes to seal in juices. For sous vide method, see Note 1.
- SAUTE ONIONS: Heat oil in skillet to medium high. Add onions and a pinch of salt. Saute for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly until browned and a bit charred/caramelized.
- ASSEMBLE SLAW: Wash kale and pat dry. Remove large ribs. Roughly chop into small pieces. Place in bowl with a pinch of salt. Massage kale for 15-20 seconds to soften. Add lemon juice, oil, caramelized onions and chopped hazelnuts. Toss all together. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- FINISH AND SERVE: Place cooked chicken breasts on plate. Slice horizontally if desired. Top with Kale Hazelnuts Onion slaw. Alternatively, cut chicken in pieces and toss with slaw. Sprinkle with lemon zest and other suggested garnishes if desired. Serve.
- To Sous Vide Chicken Breasts (alternative to baked breasts): Fill water in the sous vide machine as per manufacturers instructions. Set temperature to 144F and allow water to heat to that temperature. Rub breasts with a bit of olive oil and season both sides with salt and pepper. Place breasts in vacuum seal bag or use ziploc bag (with submersion method). When temperature of sous vide machine reaches 144F, submerge the bag into water. Cover machine (or as per manufacturer instructions) and cook for minimum 90 minutes and a maximum of 4 hours. Remove from bag and pat dry. If you want a finished look, saute breast in skillet on medium high-to-high in a teaspoon of oil on one side for 60-90 seconds to create a golden brown surface. Then continue recipe.
- To toast hazelnuts: Heat oven to 350F. Place hazelnuts on pan and roast for about 12 minutes or until fragrant. Let cool for a few minutes. Rub nuts between hands to remove skins. It's fine if some skin does not come off.
- To brine chicken (optional) If you have kosher chicken breasts or pre-brined or don't have time, skip this step. Place breasts in a sealed bag with 3 cups room temperature water, 3 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon sugar) for 15 minutes. You can brine up to 4 hours in fridge or at room temperature for 45 minutes. Rinse breasts and pat dry.
Here are two other fresh salads you might like with chicken:
Fresh Mango Salad get the recipe
Beet, Spinach and Quinoa Salad get the recipe