Quick, what’s better than bacon? If you shouted “NOTHING!” Give yourself a high five, and read on. If you said something dumb like “Disneyland!” or “Chocolate Sauce!” do not commence high-fiving… But continue to read.
This morning I woke up and realized that I had forgot about the swiss chard in my fridge that came in last week’s CSA box. This being a relatively hearty green it was still in good shape so I whipped it up for breakfast. This recipe would make a great lunch or dinner too. Along with that, if you simply won’t have the time in the morning to do the whole thing (it took me 15 minutes), prep the veg and chicken the night before. This recipe scales up and down, so I’ll put in the amount I used in parenthesis. Ok, here goes:
Prep – in professional cooking, “mise en place” means quite literally “everything in place” so get your stuff together before you even start the burner. Ok?
1. Wash the chard, then with a pairing knife slice the leafs off the celery-like stalk. Next cut up the stalk into small chunks ab out the size of a chicklet, or tic tac, or whatever candie you can call up from your childhood memory that’s small. Then, roll the leaves up into a cigar-like bundle and cut that into chunks as well. Set aside. (I used 5 pieces of chard)
2. Cut the bacon into lardons. If you have strip bacon, turn them perpendicular to you and slice ’em up like a football field. I like mine to be about as wide as my pinkie finger. Set aside. (I used 2 pieces of bacon).
3. Cut up some chicken. The smaller the piece the quicker it will cook. I like to make mine into chunks the size of a thumb. Set aside. (I used 4 ounces of chicken)
Cook – Your mise is in place right? You’re not going to be cutting chard while frying bacon, right? Ok, here we go!
4. In a non-stick skillet (or cast iron) throw the bacon in the pan and start to brown it on medium-low. As it’s nearing completion throw in the stalk from the chard and cook that for a few minutes, maybe 3-4 (sorry, I don’t use a timer when I cook). Then at the very end of the bacon cooking cycle, throw in the chard and wilt it for about a minute. Once that whole mess is done, pull it out and set it aside, leaving the remaining bacon fat in the pan.
5. Throw the chicken bits with some salt and pepper, cook them until they are ready. Cook time will depend on size, but mine took about 6 minutes. Once complete, drain off the fat, add the chard/bacon back in and warm it all up together and boom, there’s breakfast… Or lunch, or dinner.