Breast of chicken with country ham and ramps

Forest flavor: Ramps in their native habitat. Photo courtesy of ASAP

(serves two)

1 boneless breast of chicken, about 7 oz.
1 tbsp of bacon fat
1 oz of finely cut country ham, such as Hickory Nut Gap or Benton’s
small handful of ramps, cleaned
1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
salt and pepper

In a heavy skillet with a lid, heat the bacon fat over medium heat. Lightly brown the chicken on both sides, about 1 minute to a side. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the pan when browned. Add the country ham and the ramps to the skillet and brown and stir for about a minute. Add the chicken stock, bring to a simmer and reduce the heat.  Return the chicken to the pan, correct the seasonings, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes. Poke the chicken and make sure it is not getting hard. It should remain springy to the touch. At the 8-minute mark, add the cabbage and cover once again.  If the chicken is done, remove it from the pan, keep warm. Cook the cabbage for about 4 minutes. It will depend on how finely you have cut it. Reduce the liquid slightly, if necessary. To serve, place the cabbage on the plate, slice the breast, dividing it equally on the two plates, spoon the sauce around. Serve with grits or potatoes roasted with more ramps.

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