Tuesday, January 3, 2012

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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At January 3, 2012 at 11:21 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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!

At January 4, 2012 at 2:10 AM , Blogger Natalie Leung said...

OMG delicious!! what a great start to 2012!


At January 4, 2012 at 11:22 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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

At January 4, 2012 at 1:02 PM , Blogger Janet@FromCupcakesToCaviar said...

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

At January 14, 2012 at 9:21 AM , Blogger jdtirado said...

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.

At February 21, 2012 at 12:53 PM , Blogger Boston Chef said...

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


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Hello! Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog. It means so much to me. Please let me know if you have questions about any of my recipes or if I forgot a step. Also, is there something you would like me to cook or a recipe to makeover? Let me know!

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