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crispy chicken with white beans, kale, and lemon in a skillet
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5 from 4 votes

Skillet Chicken with White Beans and Kale

One pan skillet chicken is braised with white beans, kale, garlic, and lemon. Topped with capers and fresh herbs for an easy, flavorful date night in or weeknight dinner for the family! Healthy, hearty, and satisfying!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: braised chicken thighs, chicken white beans, healthy chicken recipe, one pan chicken recipe, skillet chicken and kale, white beans and kale
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 420kcal

Equipment

  • Large skillet or dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about ~2 lbs) (instructions for bone-in skin-on thighs below)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 cloves garlic peeled and smashed
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, ribs removed, torn into small pieces
  • 2 (15 oz) cans white beans, drained cannelini, navy, or northern beans
  • 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken stock or 1 cup stock + 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 lemon thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano plus more for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp capers drained
  • flaky sea salt for serving, optional
  • 2 Tbsp schmaltz optional (see note!)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F. Heat oil (and schmaltz, if using) in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Trim any excess fat from chicken thighs, then season on all sides with kosher salt and black pepper. Carefully place chicken in the hot skillet (it will splatter!) and cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes. Flip and cook chicken an additional 3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate. ((Instructions for cooking bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and chicken breasts in the notes below.))
    crispy pan seared chicken thighs in a skillet
  • Add smashed garlic cloves, torn kale leaves, and white beans, then toss. Pour in chicken stock (and wine, if using) then give another stir. Nestle chicken thighs (skin side up, if using skin-on) on top of kale and beans, then add lemon slices and oregano. Bake for 10 minutes or until an internal temperature of 165F is reached.
    lacinato kale and white beans in a skillet
  • Top with capers, then sprinkle chicken thighs with a pinch each of flaky sea salt, if using. Serve immediately.
    crispy chicken with white beans, kale, and lemon in a skillet

Notes

  • Schmaltz: rendered chicken fat! If you're cooking skin-on thighs, this is definitely not necessary. It's a nice addition with the boneless thighs, but a scoop of bacon fat would be equally delicious! Feel free to omit entirely. 
  • Kale: if you don't have kale, you can use any other hearty leafy green, such as swiss chard, mustard greens, or collard greens. Spinach works too, but it will not hold up nearly as well in the braising liquid.
  • Stock vs. white wine: you can use 1 ½ cups of chicken stock, 1 ½ cups of white wine, or any combination of the two. Vegetable stock works great too!
  • Boneless vs. bone-in chicken: cook time for bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs will be significantly longer than boneless thighs. On the stove top, cook skin side down for 8-10 minutes or until chicken skin pulls away easily from the pan. Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes on the second side before continuing with the recipe as written. Braising liquid should not touch crispy chicken skin, so use less liquid if needed. Bone-in thighs will cook 8-10 minutes at 375F. Chicken is safe to eat at a temperature of 165F. You can substitute boneless or bone-in chicken breasts; cook time will be similar to bone-in, skin-on thighs. 

Nutrition

Calories: 420kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.5g | Protein: 29.1g | Fat: 18.5g | Saturated Fat: 4.3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1405mg | Potassium: 421mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 0.7g | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 5mg