Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bacon Chicken and Broccoli Rabe (Rapini)

Broccoli rabe (also known as rapini) is a new concept to me. As I am sure many of you are, I get tired of eating the same old vegetables known to the general public. I saw an organic bunch of this rapini in the produce section for $4. At that price, I figured I'd give it a shot. Plus it was really healthy looking. You know what I mean, it had deep color tone and it looked very earthy- like something a nomad would eat...yeah, caveman food. Broccoli rabe's appearance actually reminded me of what weeds that grow on the side of the road look like which made me question why I would pay any money at all to try it, but the little broccoli pieces were cute and made it less scary to attempt to make. As it turns out, this stuff actually has no relation to standard broccoli. Rather, broccoli rabe is more closely related to turnips or greens. Thus, it does have a bitter flavor. The blanching does tame this quite a bit but there is no complete elimination of the bitterness. So if you absolutely can't stand that tang then this is probably not the vegetable for you. However, it's a strong flavor and I absolutely can see becoming accustomed to the taste. In any case, this is a nice change of pace and making this could be a nice way to impress guests by introducing them to a food they likely have little to no experience with. I hope you like.


1 large bunch broccoli rabe (aka rapini)
2 large chicken breasts (about 1.5 lbs) cut into small pieces
1/2 lb bacon
1/2 sweet onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste


Boil a large pot of water.
Chop off bottom part of broccoli rabe stems- I cut just below where the leaves start to form.
When water is to a rolling boil add broccoli rabe and blanch by submerging into water for three to five minutes.
Immediately pour into colander and let cool.
Set aside.

Thinly slice and chop onions.
Cut bacon strips width-wise into about 1 centimeter strips.
Over medium high heat put bacon strips and onion into pan.
Cook until bacon starts to crisp and brown, stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Add chicken, garlic, and broccoli rabe.
Cook for about ten to fifteen minutes, stirring every few minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Add salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Jadah, the dish looks delicious and very healthly! But the recipe doesn't say whether the chicken breasts should be cut up before you cook them. It looks like the chicken pieces are sort of bite-sized, so I'm assuming they were cut up...would that be right? Thank you!

    1. Yes! You are right- cut the chicken into little chunks! haha. thanks for the catch!