Braise-Worthy Greens

A hearty green holds up perfectly in a long, slow roast.

There’s more to greens than sautéed spinach. This month, we’ve partnered with Ashley Rodriguez of Not Without Salt to share tips, insights and her favorite recipes using greens.

Raw might be all the rage depending on your circle of friends, and while greens are often best left unadorned and uncooked, sometimes giving them the low, slow treatment can work wonders. Hearty greens – greens that have thick, dense leaves and chunky, fibrous stems – stand up perfectly to a braise, becoming tender while also soaking up all of the flavors that it’s bubbling away in. On a cool spring night or a lazy Sunday, braised greens are your new best friend.

In this recipe, some frilly leaves of kale turn crisp in the oven while the rest settle under the chicken and mingle with its juices to turn almost meltingly soft. With a bit of water in the pan, the kale has a chance to braise while the chicken sits above the moisture to get a crisp, crackly skin. If you notice the pan looking a bit dry, feel free to add more water so the kale doesn’t scorch. You could also use chicken stock in lieu of the water if you have some on hand. A slow cook coaxes out the greens natural sweetness, which makes for a perfect match with the savory chicken.


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Roasted Chicken and Kale with Crispy Parmesan Crumbs

"To offset the tender greens, this recipe finishes with some crispy bread crumbs seasoned with Parmesan and lemon. The punch of cheese and acid at the end really brightens up the greens and plays off the sweetness. And if there happens to be leftovers after this meal, combine the chicken and kale along with a bit of gruyere or fontina cheese in a sandwich, grill, then serve."  - Ashley

Servings: 4 - 6



  • 1 3-4 pound whole chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, ribs removed, cut in 1-inch ribbons, and washed well
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest                                                                                                 


Prepare your chicken 1 to 3 days ahead: remove the giblets and sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper inside and out. Place in a small roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered.

Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes prior to roasting. Pat dry with paper towels.

Preheat your oven to 375°F on the convection roast setting.

In a very hot cast iron skillet set over high heat add the olive oil. When the oil starts to shimmer sear the chicken, breast side down, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the skin is very deeply golden. With a big set of tongs remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the kale along with a pinch of salt. Stir the kale around to coat it with the oil and cooked shallots.

Add the rosemary and water to the pan then place the chicken on top of the kale.

Return the entire pan to the oven and roast until the temperature probe reads 165°F in the thighs. Stir the kale occasionally to prevent burning. Add a bit more water if the pan is too dry. Just remember that some crispy kale bits is a very good thing.

For the bread crumbs:

In a small bowl combine the panko, Parmesan and lemon zest along with a pinch of salt.

Remove the skillet from the oven and set the chicken on a cutting board to rest. Give the kale a stir and a quick taste. Add more salt if it needs it then top with the crumbs. Return the pan to the oven to let the bread crumbs crisp up, about 5 minutes more.

To serve, place the chicken on a large platter and surround it with the slow-cooked kale.                             

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