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Roast Chicken Legs with Braised Kale and White Beans

Whole chicken legs might be my favorite cut of chicken to roast, as you get the crispy skin and lots of tender meat plus they make for a beautiful presentation.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword braise, cannellini, chicken, chicken legs, kale, lemon, roast, white beans
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients

For the roast chicken:

  • 2 medium lemons, thinly sliced
  • 6 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken legs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the braised kale and white beans:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bunches curly kale, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 11 ½ -ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

For serving:

  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

For the roast chicken:

  • Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Arrange lemons in an even single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Use your fingers to separate the chicken skin from the meat. Slide the slices of butter under the skin. Rub each of the chicken legs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper then arrange on top of the lemon slices.
  • Roast until the skin is crispy and the meat has cooked through entirely, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

For the braised kale and white beans:

  • Heat a large high-edged sauteuse pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through (may have to work in two batches depending on the size of the pan).
  • Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 10 seconds then add the kale and toss to coat in the oil. Sauté, stirring occasionally until the kale has wilted.
  • Lower the heat to medium-low then add the chicken stock and white beans and simmer until the kale is tender and most of the stock has evaporated, about 15 minutes.

For serving:

  • Divide the kale and white bean mixture among shallow pasta bowls and top with a leg of chicken. Top each with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately, warm.