Recipe courtesy of Sarah Gim

Crispy Braised Chicken Thighs with Cannellini Beans and Greens

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 5 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or pot (at least 4 inches high and large enough to hold the chicken thighs in a single layer; see Cook's Note) over medium-high heat.
  2. Thoroughly pat dry the chicken thighs and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper, seasoning the skins generously. Place the chicken thighs skin-side down in the pot and cook, undisturbed, until the skins are dark golden, about 8 minutes. They will sizzle a lot but don't worry and do not move the chicken thighs. If the pot starts to smoke or smells like the chicken is burning, reduce the heat a little (see Cook's Note).
  3. Flip chicken thighs and cook the other side until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions to pot. Cook, stirring, until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and herbs and cook, stirring, until the onions and garlic are lightly browned. Add the wine, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot (the wine will help loosen the bits).
  5. IF USING CANNED BEANS: Return the chicken thighs, skin-side up, to the pot, nestling them between the onions. Add enough chicken stock to cover the onions and garlic and about 3/4 up the chicken thighs, letting the chicken skin sit above the stock. Increase the heat to bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the chicken for 25 minutes.
  6. Remove 2 to 3 chicken thighs from the pot. Add the beans and stir into the stock. Reposition the chicken thighs in the pot on top of the beans so the chicken skin remains exposed. Return the 2 to 3 chicken thighs to the pot, skin-side up. Add more stock to cover the beans, if necessary. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Carefully stir the greens into the beans, around the chicken, then simmer until the greens are tender, 8 to 10 more minutes.
  7. IF USING DRIED BEANS: Add the soaked dried beans to the onions and garlic in the pot. Add enough chicken stock to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Increase the heat, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  8. Return the chicken thighs, skin-side up, to the pot, nestling them in the beans slightly so that the skin isn't submerged. Simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender, adding more stock if the beans start to get too dry, for another 35 minutes. Taste the beans and add salt and/or pepper, to taste. Carefully stir the greens into the beans, around the chicken, then simmer until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes.
  9. Ladle the beans and greens into shallow bowls then top with the chicken thighs. Add a drizzle of olive oil (for the omega-3 balance!), squeeze of lemon and chopped fresh parsley.

Cook’s Note

I have made this dish in a Dutch oven, a high-sided braiser, and even a cast-iron skillet. Every recipe I've ever read for crispy chicken thighs instructs you to brown the skin side for a mere 3 to 4 minutes which must be some sort of CYA insurance for burning the chicken since you can always cook something a little more later, but you can't undo anything that's overcooked, let alone burnt. Be brave. Embrace the dark brown. Go for the full 8 minutes.

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Dan Churchill

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