Maple-Curry Chicken with Kale

By • January 28, 2014 • 17 Comments

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Author Notes: Ever since my husband tapped a dozen sugar maple trees in our backyard, maple syrup has become the exclusive sweetener used in my kitchen (besides local honey, of course).

This complete meal has a sweet and spicy sauce that highlights the bitterness of the kale, though spinach or chard also work. I use Grade B dark maple syrup for the maple terroir it provides.
purduetina

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup salted butter, melted (optional, but if omitting, be sure to grease the baking dish)
  • 1/2 cup dark, grade B maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 to 5 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
  • 1 cup finely chopped kale, spinach, or chard
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 4 equal-sized pieces, or left whole
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º F. To prepare a sauce for the chicken, whisk together the melted butter, maple syrup, mustard, and curry powder in a medium baking dish. Add the kale and chicken. Be sure each piece of chicken is covered with the sauce (especially if using whole chicken breasts).
  2. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, covered, until the liquid has thickened. (If using whole chicken breasts, turn them over and baste with sauce halfway through). Because the greens release some water as they cook, the sauce may appear thin halfway through, but it will thicken a bit by the end.
  3. While the chicken bakes, prepare the bulgur wheat. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add the bulgur wheat and let simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, covered. Served the baked chicken and sauce over the bulgur wheat.
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Comments (17) Questions (0)

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about 2 hours ago Tashipluto

For me, this is too sweet. I added lemon juice at the table. My sugar tooth son loved it!

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6 days ago ortolan

Thank you for this inspired and delicious recipe! Like others have noted, it far exceeded expectations. And it's very simple to make--a healthy weeknight winner. I added 2 plump cloves worth of minced garlic and some thyme to the recipe and it was divine.

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6 days ago Michelle

Has anyone tried freezing this? Want to make a big batch and freeze a few portions, but I'm thinking the kale might not stand up to being reheated?

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6 days ago Archaeogrrrl

The kale is finely chopped and ends up almost melted into the sauce. We thought that this dish is what would happen if my very Southern grandmother had decided to make saag paneer. (To be clear, we were all very happy with that comparison.) I find that the spinach part of saag paneer freezes just fine so I would be willing to risk freezing.

If you're hesitant maybe just freeze one portion for 7 days and see what you think?

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4 days ago Michelle

Thanks! That sounds promising. I'm going to give it a go. I appreciate the comment!

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2 days ago purduetina

@Michelle : I have frozen this with spinach and chard, and that was fine...but not kale! let us know what you do!

And, @Archaeogrrrl , thank you for your comments!

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19 days ago bmallorca

Great flavors and so easy! I added more than double the kale, and 4 small carrots cut into chunky rounds, for extra color. Everyone really enjoyed it. Thank you!

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19 days ago Archaeogrrrl

This was much better than I was expecting, and I expected it to be incredible.
I added caramelized onions and some minced jalapeño to the chopped kale. Then I discovered I was inexplicably out of coarse bulger so I baked some hulled barley in chicken stock.

Thank you so much, everyone here loved dinner.

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25 days ago Tara Zucker

Love this recipe! So simple, 2 out of 3 family members ate it which is a win in my book. Will add more kale next time.

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25 days ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So intriguing. ;o)

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25 days ago healthierkitchen

Sounds terrific and I have tons of kale to use right now!

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26 days ago Burf

This was great! A little sweet but i think i'd make this again exactly as written. We topped with yogurt because our curry powder had some definite oomph.

My fam has been making maple syrup for a few decades. From our experience, the color never played a huge role in the flavor. From the same sugarbush, you could come up with any grade (the first boil of the season was nearly always an A, and got darker as the sap season progressed).

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29 days ago pamela

I'm going to make this with a whole chicken, cut into parts. I will roast it until each piece is cooked through, probably removing the wings and breasts before the thighs and legs. Looks like a great recipe and we have no shortage of maple syrup here in Maine! Thanks!

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29 days ago abeneplacito

this looks like a brilliant weeknight dinner. question: would skin-on breasts (with or without the bone) work? and if so, how should i change the process? some folks in my household love crispy chicken skin, others are prefer skinless chicken.

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29 days ago purduetina

Thanks for your question! Skin-on breasts would probably work just fine. I don't cook a look with skin-on breasts (or whole chickens for that matter) so i'm not sure what if anything you should do differently. I'd guess it would depend on how crispy you want the chicken skin to be? Please let me know what you end up doing-I would like to know, too!

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over 1 year ago purduetina

Not really, our darker syrup is dark and maple-y. We also made some lighter syrup, which was sweeter (and boring). One batch, did have a noticeable smoky flavor, (this was not what I was going for).

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over 1 year ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wow. A dozen sugar maple trees in your yard! That's amazing. Does the maple syrup you make taste very different from the higher end Grade B in the stores? ;o)