Chicken: Calenda Cabbage

posted by SueFreeman 02-14-101 9:30 AM

Calenda Cabbage

The history of this amazing recipe. It is a recipe from Melrose Plantation from many generations ago. A black woman won her freedom from slavery also found a way to free her 14 children and some other relatives and bought a plantation. It was one of only 5 successful plantations run by freed slaves. This is her recipe.

1 small head of cabbage
1/3 cup regular rice cooked and cooled
1 cup finely diced cooked chicken
1/2 cup finely diced cooked ham
1/2 tsp. Salt and pepper
Cheese sauce (recipe follows)

Core Cabbage. In a large sauce pan or stock pot cover cabbage with water and season with salt and cook til tender. Approx. 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid. Cool cabbage.

Combine rice, chicken, ham, salt and pepper and mix well. Set aside.

Cut a piece of cheesecloth big enough to hold cabbage and dampen it. Lay it out flat and lay Cabbage on the cheesecloth. With the cored out part up. Start from outer layer and pull each leaf down and separate. You want it to remain whole, and when all leaves are separated it will look like an opened flower.
Now starting at the center, fill spaces between leaves with rice and meat mixture keeping the cabbage whole. Gently returning the cabbage back to it's round shape. (It won't be tight and round, it will look like a stuffed flower.)

When all leaves are stuffed, pull up opposite sides of the cheesecloth and tie tightly. Pull up opposites of other two sides of cheesecloth and tie tightly. Twist the cabbage so the cheesecloth is tightly bound. Tie the top of the knot with twine to hold it.

Return to pan with 1 cup of reserved broth, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. (It won't burn)
While this is cooking again make Cheese Sauce.

Cheese Sauce: In a small saucepan melt 2 Tbl. butter or margarine. Blend in 2 Tbl. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt and a dash of pepper. Add 1 1/4 cups milk and cook stirring constantly til mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in 1/2 cup shredded sharp American Cheese. Heat til cheese is melted.

To serve: Remove cabbage from pot and drain. Put cabbage on a plate and untie the cheesecloth and lay cheesecloth out. Put another plate over the top and turn it over so the core part of the cabbage is on the bottom. You should have a smooth top. Remove Cheesecloth and cut into wedges and serve with cheese sauce.

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