While this comforting dish takes a bit of multitasking in the kitchen, it's actually a breeze to prepare! Just assemble your ingredients, preheat that oven and get your two pots ready... it will be well worth the little bit of effort when you see those smiles on your family's faces!
Crispy chicken thighs with braised kale and mashed potatoes recipe
Yields 4-8 dinners, depending on appetites
- 8 chicken thighs, bones in and skin on
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 pound bacon (about 4-5 slices), diced
- 8 ounces kale
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled (if desired) and cubed
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup cream
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chicken pieces in a single layer on a plate, skin side up and sprinkle all over with the the salt, garlic powder, paprika and pepper.
- In a large, heavy pot equipped with a lid, over medium-high heat, heat up the olive oil for 2 minutes. Place 4 chicken thighs into the pot with the oil, skin side down, and allow them to cook undisturbed for 5-6 minutes. Flip chicken thighs over and cook on the other side an additional 4 minutes. Remove chicken thighs from the pot and place on a baking sheet with shallow sides, skin side up. Repeat with the other 4 chicken thighs. (You're crisping the skin here, it's important to turn the heat up and down as needed, being careful not to burn the skin.)
- Carefully drain most, but not all, of the oil from the pot. Add diced bacon and cook, scraping up the browned bits and stirring often until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Add kale, apple juice and water. Stir kale all around until you notice it beginning to wilt. Cover the pot and cook the kale (stirring occasionally) until it's wilted, dark green and fragrant, about 20 minutes.
- While the kale is cooking, finish cooking the chicken by placing the baking sheet with the par-cooked chicken in the preheated oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
- Place cubed potatoes into a separate pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Bring pot to a boil and continue boiling potatoes until they are completely tender to a fork, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes and immediately add them back to their same pot. Sprinkle the hot potatoes with a liberal pinch of kosher salt. Add the butter, milk and cream and whip the potatoes with an electric mixer or hand masher. Add more milk if they seem too thick. Taste and add additional salt and some pepper if needed.
- Remove chicken from the oven and, to ensure it's done, make sure the juices are running clear. If not, continue cooking another 5 minutes or so. To plate, place hot mashed potatoes and kale right next to each other on a large plate or in a shallow bowl, nestle a crispy chicken thigh in between the potatoes and the kale.
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