Braised Chicken with Kale and Beans

The week of kale continues! Today I decided to make an economical as well as healthy meal. I got some tasty chicken quarters and decided to braise them with healthy beans and kale to make a complete, one pot meal. I love to braise tougher, fattier cuts of meat, because the long cooking time and low temperature breaks down the collagen in the meat, making it unbelievably tender and flavorful. To add flavor without calories, the chicken is braised with fennel and garlic in red wine. Such simple combinations can lead to amazing flavors. When braised, fennel loses some of its bitterness and get a meaty, complex flavor. Make sure to eat this with some crusty bread because the sauce is so incredibly delicious you will want to drink it!

Read more for the full recipe!

Ingredients: Serves 4
2 lb dark meat chicken quarters (thing & leg), approx 4 pieces
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 large fennel bulb, washed, cut in half and sliced into 1/2″ wide pieces
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1-2 cups low sodium chicken broth (see Step # 9)
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 can (15 oz) cannellini or great northern beans, rinsed
1.5 cups of fresh kale, washed, stems removed and chopped into 1″ ribbons
1 tbsp whole wheat flour

Step by Step Instructions:


1. In a dutch oven or large pan, heat olive oil to med-high heat

2. Pat chicken pieces dry and season liberally with salt and pepper

3. Sear chicken pieces, skin side down for 2-3 minutes on each side, until browned and crisped

4. If necessary, sear the chicken in shifts so as to not crowd the pot

5. Remove chicken and set aside

6. In the same pot, add fennel and garlic, sautee on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, until softened

7. Add red wine, tomato paste, and thyme, stir, scraping the bottom of the pan

8. Add chicken pieces to the pot, careful to nestle each one in the fennel mixture

9. Top with just enough chicken broth to cover each piece 2/3 of the way – slowly add broth until only 1/3 is above the liquid

10. Stir chicken and liquid mixture, cover and reduce heat to med-low

11. Simmer, covered on med-low heat for 20 minutes

12. Flip chicken pieces over, cover and simmer for another 10 minutes

13. Flip chicken over again, add beans and kale and cover, simmer for another 15 minutes

14. Remove chicken from pot and set aside

15. Stir beans and kale mixture, season with black pepper, cover and cook on medium heat for 10 min

16. With a slotted spoon, remove beans and kale and set aside. Remove thyme stems

17. Whisk flour into the sauce, and simmer, uncovered on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until sauce has reduced to desired thickness. Continue to stir every few minutes

18. To serve: Spoon beans and kale onto plate, top with a piece of chicken and then drizzle with sauce

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7 Responses to Braised Chicken with Kale and Beans

  1. Ann January 4, 2012 at 4:21 am #

    Dara – another winner! This looks absolutely delicious! I am loving your photos…I don't know what you've done, but wow! They're amazing!

  2. Natalie Leung January 4, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    OMG delicious!! what a great start to 2012!

    natalie
    http://lucyandtherunaways.blogspot.com

  3. freeeatsfood.com January 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    This looks like another winner for my family. We love kale, and great northern beans, so this is definitely on the "to make" list.

  4. Janet@FromCupcakesToCaviar January 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    This looks amazing! What a great way to use a less expensive piece of meat and yet make it delicious.

  5. jdtirado January 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    I made this for my wife last night, and it was awesome!!!!!. I can't wait to make some of your other stuff. I think that your skillet lasagna or cuban rice and beans are next.

  6. Boston Chef February 21, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    This looks super delicious! Will make a version of it tonight subbing broccoli rabe for the kale since that's all I had!

  7. Sophie July 11, 2013 at 1:33 am #

    Made this tonight — didn’t have time to brown (or even defrost) the chicken, Just put it all in a pot. At the end added the kale and beans. Even with those shortcuts this recipe was absolutely delicious. A huge hit with everyone in the family and will definitely be in regular rotation. Thank you!

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