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One-Pot Braised Chicken 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.


crispy chicken thighs in a cast iron skillet with kale and white beans

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


  • 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


  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
  • Calories584
  • Protein62 g
  • Carbohydrates29 g
  • Total Fat29 g
  • Dietary Fiber5 g
  • Cholesterol319 mg
  • sodium861 mg
  • Total Sugars2 g

One-Pot Braised Chicken with Kale and White Beans

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Susan Marcella

    Would this work with skinless boneless thighs

    Yes, but it won't need to cook as long and you won't need to sear it as long. Just give it a quick sear on both sides then in step 8. Check the temp after 20 minutes and see if it's done and then continue cooking for a few minutes from there if it's not quite done.

  • JP

    Thank you for a great recipe and clear directions. However, can you clarify if smoked or sweet paprika was the intended choice of spice? Thanks!

    Just regular paprika here. However, if you need to substitute it will be fine.

  • Sharon

    Can I substitute spinach for the kale?


  • Clara

    Can I make this with rapini (Broccoli Rabe) instead of Kale? Or would it impart too much bitterness to the chicken while braising?

    We think it should be fine! Hope you enjoy!

  • Sandy b

    What other vegetables can unusevwih cannellini beans besides spinach and kale

    You can use shredded cabbage Sandy, hope you enjoy!

  • Diane Brunjes

    This was AMAZING!! Followed the recipe exactly, but used spinach as that was all I had, and left out the capers as spouse doesn't like them. This is a keeper!

    Thanks Diane, we are so glad you enjoyed it!

  • Sonya

    I tried this tonight. I didn't have any Kale, so I used spinach. Also used dried tarragon. I added an extra cup of chicken broth. Served over mashed potatoes. So so good, I had to write a review, yum!

    Thanks Sonya, happy you loved it!

  • Jamaal

    Substituted the tarragon for dill. Loved it. Real easy to make and was a hit with the family. Thank you.

    Thanks Jamaal!

  • Becky

    Love this recipe. I've even made it for company and they loved it.

    Thanks Becky!

  • Linda D

    Made tonight exactly as written except used dried tarragon and 3T lemon juice. Lemon provided 3T of juice. I meant to only use 2T. But, when I was at that step I added it all by mistake. It was great! Kale/bean mixture had a great, complex flavor—so good. Next time will rub spices UNDER the skin to flavor the meat since we don’t eat the skin and use 3T of lemon juice.

    Thanks Linda, glad you loved it!