I know this recipe might excite all of then kale enthusiasts/addicts out there, but for me this is about the chicken thighs. If I have to eat a "green", kale will suffice as well as any other, I suppose but to be clear, I don't really like "greens". And don't even get me started on the kale chip craziness. I do, however, love chicken. Thighs, in particular. Why have a boring, flavorless breast, when you can have a juicy, rich thigh?? Seriously, WHY?
This is one pot meal easy enough for a weeknight, but I'd for sure serve this to guests. Just adjust the jalapeños accordingly. We like things spicy around here, but to each his own.
Here's the recipe:
Braised Chicken Thighs with Spicy Kale
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced red onions
2 cups large-diced peeled carrots
1 jalapeño, sliced into rings
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 12-oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
2 pounds kale, roughly chopped
1/2 cup toasted fresh bread crumbs (I used panko from a can!)
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
If you have the time, liberally salt the chicken the night before and refrigerate over night.
Allow the chicken to come to room temperature for half an hour before cooking. Pat the chicken dry.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, put the chicken skin-side down into the pot. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the chicken is well browned. Flip the pieces and cook for 3 to 4 minutes to brown the other sides. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a plate.
Add the onions and a good pinch of salt to the pot and cook for 1 minute. Add the carrots, jalapeño, and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and scrape up the tasty browned bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Cook for about 4 minutes, or until the wine is reduced by half. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves and bring to a simmer.
Adjust for seasoning, adding salt if needed, and then add the kale. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and stir. Put the chicken thighs on top of the kale, put the lid back on and put in the oven for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, lemon zest, parsley, and extra virgin olive oil.
Remove the chicken from the oven and discard the bay leaves. Top the chicken with the bread crumb mixture. Serve family style right from the pot.