February 27, 2017

One Pot Braised Kale with Crispy Chicken

One Pot Braised Kale with Crispy Chicken

Are you in a weeknight dinner rut? We’ve all been there. I know I’ve been there, a lot. Over the years though, I’ve grown, adapted, and finally found my groove. Cooking beautiful meals for company with a carefully planned menu is one thing, but being able to whip up five semi-quick, and easy going delicious meals Monday through Friday without extra trips to the market is another. It’s actually much more difficult, in my opinion. So, here I am, Natalie from the Modern Proper, to share my tricks on how to stay away from boring weeknight dinners.


My idea of a perfect weeknight meal consists of a great meat + veggie + delicious sauce...

Step one: keep good meat in your freezer by buying in bulk when it’s on sale. I have a terrible/wonderful habit (depending on who you ask) of buying excessive amounts of meat when my favorite grocer has a deal on a good cut. Some people think I’m a little crazy in my passion for this practice (it’s gotten so out of hand that my purchases have recently overflowed from my own freezer, and are now taking up residence in my sister’s freezer who lives 5 doors down). You’d think I was a survivor of the Great Depression or something. But no, I just like options, and a great deal, and meat. Step two: buy good quality produce that you’ll use for more than just one meal. If I buy produce for just one one meal (and not something I’ll use in multiple dishes) chances are the remaining produce will go bad and have to be thrown out. I HATE wasting food, so to avoid the bummer routine of tossing bad produce at the end of the week, I try and just stick with a few staples I’ll use over and over again. One of my constant go-to’s is a big container of organic baby kale. Taylor Farms makes my favorite. It’s always fresh, always crisp, and is so easy to store and quickly grab a handful of for salads, smoothies, scrambles, soups, stews, and braises. See? SO many uses!

And while menu planning is great, I hate being stuck with just ground beef on a Tuesday if/when the craving for something different strikes, but the take-out budget is long gone. That’s when my stocked freezer and go to veggies really come in handy. On any given night I can make some version or another of just about anything. I like that power (insert maniacal laugh). Recently (always actually), I was craving something rich with a healthy twist. My idea of a perfect weeknight meal consists of a great meat + veggie + delicious sauce, and because I have enough bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs stockpiled to last a long, hard winter, I started with that. I’m a sucker for a good sauce, so when we had some (extremely healthy) visitors come and cook for us a few years back, I discovered this Nom Nom Paleo chicken sauce. It’s flavors are just too hard to beat, so I decided to welcome it into today’s dinner. I cooked the chicken thighs until they were nice and brown in a heavy skillet, then removed them reducing the remains and rendered fats into a thick sauce with the addition of tarragon, lemon and a little grass fed butter. I tossed in several huge handfuls of Taylor Farms organic baby kale, returned the chicken, and allowed everything to braise into one beautifully rich one pot wonder. See? Meat + veggie + sauce = everything. And while serving this kale and chicken dish 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. No extra trips to the store, no big fuss, just decadent, healthy, good food with what I already had on hand. Now who sounds crazy?

This is a sponsored post written by The Modern Proper on behalf of Taylor Farms. The opinions and text are all ours.

One Pot Braised Kale with Crispy Chicken

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 shallot, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth separated
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp cold butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp freshly chopped tarragon, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup capers
10 cups loosely packed Taylor Farms Organic Baby Kale

Method

  1. In a large heavy bottom skillet or braiser with a tight fitting lid heat tbsp of olive oil over medium/high heat.
  2. In a small bowl mix together paprika, salt and better. Pat dry the chicken thighs and season them generously with the seasoning mixture. Place the thighs 4 at a time skin side down into the pan. Allow the skins to brown (about 4-5 minutes) then turn and continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from pan, set aside and repeat the process with the remaining thighs.
  3. Add shallots to the pan and allow to cook at medium heat until just tender.
  4. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock to the pan along with the dijon mustard. Bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up brown bits and incorporate ingredients. Allow to continue simmering until sauce reduces to about 1 cup and thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in cold butter. Once incorporated add lemon juice, capers and tarragon.
  5. Add the kale 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. Drizzle the remaining broth over the entire dish, cover and return to low heat. Braise the mixture over low heat for 30 minutes.
  6. While the dish is just fine as is, I like my skins a little crispy. If you want to take the extra step for good crispy skins, place the entire dish under the broiler for 3 more minutes, or until skins start to bubble.
  7. Serve over mashed potatoes or a bed of creamy polenta. Enjoy! 

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