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Crispy Skin Chicken Breasts with Escarole and White Beans

Crispy Skin Chicken Breasts with Escarole and White Beans


For the beans (for a quick supper, use a can of cannellini beans):

  • 1 cup dry white beans (cannellini beans)

  • 1 sprig rosemary

  • 1 small onion, halved

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • Salt

For the chicken and escarole:

  • 4 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts

  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced, divided

  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • 1 large head escarole, cleaned and coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • A few grates of nutmeg

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Crusty bread, for mopping


Cover the beans with boiling water and soak them for 1 hour. Rinse and add to a medium size pot with the rosemary, onion and bay leaf. Cover the beans with a couple of inches of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to keep the beans at a low, rolling boil and cook until tender, 30-40 minutes. Drain and discard the rosemary stem, onion and bay. Combine half of the garlic and all of the herbs in a small bowl. Loosen the skin from the chicken and rub the spices across the breast meat. Replace the skin and season with salt and pepper. Warm a serving platter in the oven. Add a turn of the pan of olive oil to a cast iron skillet. Place the chicken, skin-side down, in the cold pan, then turn on the heat to medium-high. Weigh down the chicken breasts with another heavy skillet or a weighted skillet. Cook for 12 minutes, then turn the chicken and cook for 6 minutes more. Add the wine to the pan to pick up the drippings and remove to a warm platter with the pan juice. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, a turn of the pan. Reduce the heat a bit, then add the onion and the remaining garlic and stir to soften, 7-8 minutes. Add the crushed pepper flakes and stir, then wilt in the escarole. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the stock and beans and simmer for a few minutes. Douse with lemon juice. Serve the beans and greens in shallow bowls and top with a piece of crispy chicken. Pass crusty bread, for mopping.