Crispy Kale & Maple Roasted Chicken Sliders

Kale and Roasted Chicken

KALE. (Not Beyonce’s sweatshirt, we’re talking vegetables here). To be honest, I don’t love kale, and the feeling has been mutual.  That is, until I did some travelling and enjoyed some kale as a side dish to crunchy maple waffles and fried chicken. Life. Changed.  The salty-soy earthy crunch from the kale was (surprisingly) an amazing flavor pair to the also crunchy very sweet maple wafles and savory chicken – it was a forkfull of deliciousness.  I knew right away I was going to make a sandwich out of it.  After all, why go through the tedious process of cutting the chicken, waffle, and kale into eatable pieces then stack them all onto a fork in perfect proportion THEN devour? Leaves too much time to decide not to eat the kale…no thanks.

Now, I didn’t use fresh kale, but think twice before you start knocking me for using frozen steam-ready kale…not only did I not have to look for a fresh bunch, but I also didn’t have to wash, de-stem, potentially blanch, and cut the kale before I used it. I did us all a favor here. Kale gets such a bad rep to begin with…so why not boost our confidence in it with a fun recipe? We’re breaking stigmas here, people. Let’s eat some KALE!

Kale Appetizer

Ingredients:
– 1 package frozen chopped kale
– 1 chicken breast, cooked
– 2T olive oil
– fresh, toasted cibatta rolls
– ½ T reduced sodium soy
– a few drops of Worchestershire sauce
– a few sprinkles of garlic powder
– 4t unsalted butter, room temperature (very soft – but not microwaved, please!)
– 1T pure maple syrup

Steamed Kale

Instructions:
Steam the kale according to package directions. While the kale is steaming, mix the maple syrup and butter together until completely combined, form into a log using plastic wrap, or keep it in the original bowl, cover, and refrigerate. (This can be done way in advance, and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the sandwiches, or until you need a topper for your chocolate chip pancakes…). Remove the kale from the package, set aside in a bowl to let it cool.

Crispy Kale recipe

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat – add 2T of olive oil, and when the kale is no longer scorching hot, add that in too. Be sure to mix it all around so the kale is covered in the oil and is spaced out in the pan. We want crispy kale, so don’t be afraid if it gets a little darker than usual – in total, you will sautee the kale anywhere from 12-15 minutes. About 8 minutes in, add in the soy, garlic, and Worchestershire – stir, and keep crisping! When you’ve reached a good texture, turn off the heat, and get ready to prep those sammies!

How to cook Kale

I toasted mini ciabatta rolls from the store as my roll, and I found this worked great. I also used a rotisserie cooked chicken breast from my local grocery store, which ended up being a huge success – what a time saver, and the roasted chicken flavor was exactly what I was going for.

Maple Butter Roasted Chicken

To assemble, spread some maple butter on each side of the bread, add some kale, then chicken, then kale, and then the top of the roll. I sliced mine in half again to make them super bite sized, and because I also wanted to see what it looked like… :)

Kale recipes

I’d say THAT was a success! Ever have a dish at a restaurant that you want to personalize and recreate? Or an ingredient that you just can’t figure out? Let us know on instagram, @whattodowithlemons or send us an email!  Oh yea, and EAT YOUR KALE!

Fried Kale Sandwich