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One-Pot Braised Chicken with Kale and White Beans

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr
  • Calories: 584
crispy chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet with kale and white beans

Crispy seared chicken thighs get a slow braise alongside kale and creamy white beans. The whole healthy mess is finished with briny capers and fresh tarragon in this easy one-pot chicken dinner.

Chicken Thighs? CHICKEN THIGHS!

Chicken thighs, you guys. We're not going to stop singing the praises of chicken thighs—not now, not ever! They're so much more flavorful than chicken breast, and they just love a good braise. Toss them in a big Dutch oven with some kale and white beans, and their schmaltzy richness will seep into those veggies and bring them to life. Capers, lemon juice, Dijon mustard and fresh tarragon lift this easy one-dish dinner into heady realms of herbal brightness. Are you on board now?

one pot braised chicken and kale with white beans in a cast iron skillet

Winter is for Braising.

You know that Dutch oven you got as a wedding gift? You know the one. It’s that big cast-iron and enamel behemoth sitting in the back of a cupboard taking up a lot of space. Well, when the barometer drops, break that thing out! It’s braising season, friends. And in our house, braising and chicken thighs go hand-in-hand. Here’s why:

  • Flavor! Braising is the OG slow-cooking. Before there were Crock-Pots, there was braising. Low and slow, this moist-heat cooking method is the ideal way to cook a cut of skin-on chicken (like a chicken thigh) because it draws out the chicken fat and lets it slowly melt into the kale and white beans that it cooks with.
  • It’s easy! Braised chicken thighs are so easy—you just give the skin-on chicken thighs a nice sear in the same pan you’ll braise them in, so that they’re nicely crispy. Then add whatever you’d like to braise them with—in this case kale and white beans—and let your Dutch oven or braiser team up with your warm oven to finish the dish.
raw bone in skin on chicken thighs seasoned on metal tray lined with parchment paper
cast iron braiser with bone in skin on chicken thighs that are browned
chicken stock, dijon and shallots in skillet
chicken stock, herb and butter sauce pan in a black skillet with capers and fresh herbs
crispy chicken thighs in black cast iron skillet with sauce pan
black cast iron skillet with leafy kale and white beans over crispy chicken thighs

One-Pan Chicken Chicken Thighs with Kale and White Beans—a Recipe in Three Steps.

A really comforting, cozy chicken dinner is within reach! One pot meals are a must for weekday cooks—think of this chicken thigh recipe as a template. It’s delicious as it’s written, but once you master the technique, play around with different vegetables or additions! Maybe swap chard for the kale, or try adding some canned tomatoes to the mix.

Here’s how to make our one-pot chicken with kale and white beans:

  1. Sear chicken thighs until they were crispy and brown in a heavy skillet, then set them aside on a cutting board or baking sheet. Don't worry about cooking them all the way through—that'll happen when they braise.
  2. Back to the pan! Reduce the rendered chicken fat (the fat leftover in the pan from searing the thighs) into a thick, chicken piccata-like sauce, along with the chicken stock, fresh tarragon, lemon juice, capers, shallots, Dijon and butter.
  3. Add several huge handfuls of kale, and the white beans.
  4. Nestle the chicken thighs back into the pan with the kale and beans
  5. TIme to Cover! Let everything braise slowly into one beautifully rich one pot wonder.
  6. Serve! While serving this one-pot braised chicken and kale over some creamy potatoes or polenta would surely bring tears to your eyes, it can also stand alone just as it is for the perfect meal on any given Tuesday night.
cast iron braiser filled with one pot braised crispy chicken and kale with white beans

Tools You’ll Need:

Other One-Pan Chicken Recipes to Make Your Weeknights Easy:

Whether it requires you to break out your Dutch oven, or just a sheet pan, these one-pan meals keep clean-up quick as can be:

Braised Chicken Thighs—You Get It Now, Right?

So much more than the sum of its parts, and as welcome on a dreary winter weeknight as it is as the focal point of your next dinner party, dutch oven chicken thighs are one of the recipes that has to be made to be believed. When you make it, let us know how it goes! Snap a photo of your beautiful pan of chicken thighs and kale, and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so we can see! Happy eating!

cast iron braiser with one pot braised chicken and kale with white beans

One-Pot Braised Chicken with Kale and White Beans

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hr
  • Calories: 584

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 3 lbs
  • 1 large shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp salted butter, cold
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped tarragon
  • 1/4 cup capers, drained
  • 10 cups kale from 2 bunches, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 1 13.5 oz can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Method

  1. In a large skillet or braiser with a tight fitting lid heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium/high heat.

  2. In a small bowl mix together paprika, salt and pepper. Pat the chicken thighs dry and season them generously with the paprika mixture.

  3. Place the thighs, 4 at a time, skin side down into the pan. Cook until skins are golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until the other side is just browned, about 3 more minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and repeat with remaining chicken thighs.

  4. In the same pan add the shallots and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until just tender, about 4 minutes.

  5. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock to the pan along with the dijon mustard. Bring liquid to a simmer, stirring and scraping up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Allow to simmer on medium low heat until sauce reduces to about 1 cup and thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 5 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cold butter. Once the butter is incorporated, stir in the lemon juice, capers and tarragon.

  7. Add the kale and white beans to the pan and toss until greens are lightly coated with the sauce. Add the chicken back to the pan, tucking each thigh into the greens.

  8. Drizzle the remaining broth over the entire dish, bring to a simmer, cover and cook on low heat for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a large serving platter and serve as is or over mashed potatoes or a bed of creamy polenta. Enjoy!

If you want to take the extra step for good crispy skins, remove the lid and place the entire dish under the broiler on the center rack for 3 minutes, or until skins start to bubble.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 584
  • Protein 62 g
  • Carbohydrates 29 g
  • Total Fat 29 g
  • Dietary Fiber 5 g
  • Cholesterol 319 mg
  • sodium 861 mg
  • Total Sugars 2 g

One-Pot Braised Chicken with Kale and White Beans

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Sandy b

    What other vegetables can unusevwih cannellini beans besides spinach and kale

    You can use shredded cabbage Sandy, hope you enjoy!

  • vicki

    Can I put it in the slow cooker?

    Hi Vicki, we haven't tested this recipe in the slow cooker yet, we'd love to hear if you try it out!

  • Rosemary Faucette

    what might be a good side dish with this?

    This is the type of dish that I just serve with crusty bread!

  • Jessica

    I don't have a dutch oven. Could I bake this in a covered glass pan instead? Will it come out the same (or similar)?

    I haven't tested it for baking, but you can just use a large skillet on the stove that has a lid.

  • Susan Cannella

    Would it taste OK if I skipped the butter? It is an allergy issue.

    Yes. It thickens the sauce a bit and adds flavor, but it is ok to skip.

  • Jackie R Pressley

    I am NOT a thigh fan at all, but my husband is so I made this. I served it over quinoa and it was delicious! Only thing different is I added parmigiana reggiano on the top! Delicious!!!

    So glad you enjoyed it Jackie! Quinoa and parmigiana sound delicious with it!

  • Jamie

    It’s really great. Really quite simple yet complex to taste. Brilliant!

    Thank you Jamie! So glad you love it!

  • Violet

    We made this last night and it was amazing. Omitted the white beans because we are on keto and the tarragon because we just didn’t have on hand. Served over hearts of palm mash. I could easily see us adding to the weekly rotation. Thank you!

    Thank you Violet, we are so happy you loved it!

  • BigDawg

    First time I made this I made it with boneless skinless thighs. I used spinach instead of kale. I also added 1/2 cup of white wine and used a 1/4 cup of lemon juice. It was a very light and bright flavor. I can promise I will make it again there were no left overs for this one.

    Thank you! So happy to hear you loved it and will be making it again!

  • Nichole.O

    I'm not a huge fan of chicken so didn't have any, but the greens [baby kale] and beans were outstanding!! [The chicken lovers devoured the chicken.] We served it over parmesan polenta; it was so good.

    Thanks so much Nichole! We are so glad everyone loved it!