I was inspired to make this by the Food and Wine magazine Instagram. I saw this photo:
How easy and tasty does this look?
I've made this three times now, each time a little differently. The first time, I bought six chicken sausage links from the deli case at Fresh Market. They were on sale, so they were about $6. This was the cheapest rendition. The next time, my husband was headed to the grocery. I told him we should make this again, so pick up some chicken sausage. He came back with breakfast links. Instead of criticizing (and the possibility he'd just not go to the grocery next time I asked), I just worked with it. The recipe actually turned out fine, but a little "breakfast-y" tasting. He remarked it wasn't as good as the time before, but I let it slide. The last time, I was at Kroger and they didn't have sausages in the case like Fresh Market. I used packaged sausage, I think it was Al Fresco brand. If you want to have leftovers for lunch, use six to eight deli sausages, or two packs of packaged sausages.
The best option is to use deli chicken sausage. If you can't find any at your grocer, note the difference between the breakfast sausage and the larger apple sausage links.
You're going to love how easy this is. For four servings, all you're going to need is three strips of bacon, about eight ounces (half a package) of baby carrots, the sausage, a green apple, and as much kale as you'd like to add (at least two leaves!)
Seriously--all you need is five ingredients. How simple is this?
To get started, determine if your chicken sausage is pre-cooked or not. If you get it from the deli case or a meat market, it probably isn't. If it's pre-packaged from the cold cuts section at the grocery, the package will likely say that it's pre-cooked.
If it isn't, use a skillet and a sautee pan. If it is, you'll only need the skillet.
If not pre-cooked:
1) Chop your bacon into lardon-sized pieces (rough chop it into bites) and your carrots into small rounds. Add the bacon to a hot sautee pan.
2) Place the sausages in the skillet and pop in the oven to bake at 350.
3) Once bacon is approaching crispy, add the carrot rounds. While you're waiting, chop the apple into small pieces about the same size as your lardons.
4) Once the chicken sausage begins to brown, remove the pan from the oven and cut the sausage into rounds. Return to the oven and switch to broil to speed the browning. Once the pieces turn golden, add the carrot-bacon mix from the sautee pan.
5) Once the carrots begin to brown on the edges (about five minutes), add the apple pieces. While you wait, tear the kale into bite-sized pieces.
6) When the apple pieces are beginning to brown, and the carrots and sausage have deeply brown roasted edges, add the kale by sprinkling it over the top of the contents of the pan. Spread out the kale so you don't see any of the contents underneath. As it browns, it will shrink.
7) Remove from oven once the edges of the kale are getting deeply brown and crispy. Spoon into bowls and serve.
1) Set oven to bake at 350. Add bacon lardons to skillet. Bake for about 10 minutes, check to see if they are golden. Once golden, add the carrots. Bake for about five more minutes.
2) Add the chicken sausage, already chopped into rounds. Turn oven up to broil.
3) Once chicken sausage pieces are golden on edges, add chopped apple. Broil for three to four minutes. Chicken should have deeply brown edges.
4) Add the torn pieces of kale, spreading to cover all the contents beneath. Remove from oven once the edges of the kale are getting deeply brown and crispy. Spoon into bowls and serve.
Insider tip: have two plastic containers waiting by the stove. When you take the skillet out of the oven, spoon equal servings into two bowls and the two tupperware. This way, you've pre-measured two leftover containers and will resist the urge to go back to the skillet to get more to eat!