This Braised Cabbage with Chicken and Sausage is just one more reason to celebrate the colder months!
I don’t know about you but I’ve been craving soups and stews lately and this one-pot dinner hit the spot big time! Although the recipe is inspired by my fascination (read: obsession) with all things French, it actually ended up reminding me a lot of the food my mother made for us growing up. Go figure! After all, next to vodka, cabbage is the quintessential ingredient in Russian cuisine. Perhaps even more so than potatoes (?), cabbage is used for nearly everything in Russia – be it stuffed cabbage rolls, borscht, cabbage pie, buns stuffed with cabbage, or a thousand different cold salads. And even though my mother is, strictly speaking, from Lithuania, many of these same rules apply.
If you’ve read “My Paleo Story“, you might remember that I really disliked my mother’s cooking when I was a child. Cabbage was really the last thing I wanted to eat. Unless, of course, it was smothered in mayonnaise, made into a coleslaw, and piled onto a pulled pork sandwich! Nowadays, I can’t get enough of the stuff and its precisely this sort of healthy comfort food that I intentionally seek out. Maybe I’m trying to reconnect with my childhood? Or maybe I’ve just finally come to my senses!
As mentioned, on this fateful day, I was feeling inspired and with Edith Piaf blaring on my Harmon/Kardon Aura speaker, my mood for something French was kicked into overdrive. I won’t lie, as I opened my fridge and saw this head of purple cabbage, I whispered to myself, “What would Mimi Thorrison do?” It helped that I just received this beautiful Staub Braiser from my generous friends at Staub Canada. No, this post is not sponsored but they were very kind to send the pot for review purposes and possible recipes to come.
As most of you already know, I have a serious obsession with the Staub line of cookware and have been amassing a small collection of pots and pans that I consider “heirloom pieces”. They’re the type of things that just make food taste better. They’re also as beautiful as cookware can get. This 3.5 qt braiser is no exception and would make a great gift for someone who a) truly loves to cook or b) wouldn’t necessarily spend $200 on a pot for themselves.
Aesthetics aside, there’s a practical reason that justifies my love for all things Staub. Most, if not all, of their cookware is made with a highly-durable enamelled cast-iron, which means they don’t require regular seasoning like uncoated cast-iron. They produce very even heating throughout and are oven-safe so I can easily sear things, like the chicken and sausages in this recipe, before finishing everything in the oven. Not only is it very useful to have a pot that can withstand this type of cooking, but it also ensures that you develop the most amount of flavours every step of the way.
This recipe comes together in just over an hour and although it is technically a one-pot meal that can serve a small crowd, it isn’t exactly ideal for a quick, weeknight supper. Instead, I would recommend making this for lunch on a Sunday. That way, you’re not rushed and won’t feel the need to purposely skip a step here and there. It’s important to take your time with this one since the deep, rich flavours are best developed with patience. After all, the last thing you want to do is start scorching the chicken because you’re pressed for time and setting off the smoke detector in the process. Been there, done that!
Braised Cabbage with Chicken & Sausage – Whole30
INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)
4-6 chicken thighs (skin-on, bone-in)
4 sausages of choice (whole30/paleo-compliant)
1/2 head of purple cabbage – finely sliced
1 red onion – finely sliced
2 tbsp grainy mustard (I like this brand)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
300ml stock (chicken or turkey)
4 garlic cloves – finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves – finely chopped
kosher salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Preheat 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a dutch oven or braiser set over medium-high heat. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown on both sides – approx. 8-10 min total. Transfer to tray and set aside.
- Brown sausages on both sides in rendered oils – approx. 4-6 min total. Transfer to tray and set aside.
- Add onions to the pot and season with a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium and sautée until softened – approx. 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and thyme leaves and sautée an additional 60 seconds.
- Add sliced cabbage, give everything a toss and sautée for 3-4 minutes or until softened and slightly wilted. Add mustard, apple cider vinegar and stock. Bring everything to a steady simmer, top the cabbage with sausages and the browned chicken, skin-side up, and transfer to oven, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes or until meat is cooked through.
- Remove from oven, set chicken and sausage aside for the moment, and give the cabbage a stir in the juices. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as required before returning meat back onto the cabbage.
- Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme and serve family style directly in the pot alongside some creamy, Cauliflower Purée (see recipe here).