By Bonnie S. Benwick

The Washington Post

In her stunning new cookbook, Australian food writer and stylist Donna Hay introduces this dish: "Robust kale needs a strong flavor to complement it, which is why the salty tang of preserved lemon is ideal, as well as the toasted nuttiness of the almonds. You could eat this dish as a warm salad and it's the ideal leftover for lunch at the office."

She's right.

Preserved lemons are available on some grocery store olive bars, at specialty markets and at Sur La Table stores.

Preserved Lemon Chicken With Kale

Adapted from "Donna Hay Fresh and Light: 180+ New Recipe and Flavour-Packed Ideas to Find the Perfect Balance" (HarperCollins)

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

Rind of 1/2 preserved lemon (may substitute 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest)

3 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/4 cup slivered almonds

3 cups cooked brown rice

1 pound thinly sliced chicken cutlets

7 ounces baby kale

Cut the lemon rind into very thin, fine pieces (like shreds) to yield 2 tablespoons. Smash the garlic with the flat side of a chef's knife, then coarsely chop. Combine those ingredients in a small bowl, then stir in the oil until well incorporated.


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Heat a large skillet, preferably cast-iron, over high heat. Add half of the lemon mixture and all of the almonds; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until the almonds are golden; adjust the heat as needed to keep the garlic from burning. Add the rice and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until warmed through and slightly crisped. Remove from the heat; transfer the rice mixture to a bowl.

Meanwhile, rinse the kale and pat it dry.

Wipe out the skillet and return it to high heat. Add the remaining lemon mixture and the chicken; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, using tongs to keep the chicken moving, turning it as needed, until the chicken has browned on both sides.

Add the kale; cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, using tongs to keep it moving.

Return the rice mixture to the skillet; cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until warmed through.

Nutrition per serving: 380 calories, 33 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 65 mg cholesterol, 130 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber, 0 g sugar.