Crispy Braised Chicken with Wild Rice & Kale

a healthy winter meal of crispy braised chicken with wild rice & kale

serves: 6

  • Author: Kayla Howey



Crispy Braised Chicken

  • 4 skin-on, boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 skin-on, boneless chicken thighs
  • kosher salt, as needed
  • freshly cracked black pepper, as needed
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 3 shallots, cored and quartered
  • 1 leek, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Wild Rice

  • 2 cups wild rice, rinsed
  • 4 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • kosher salt, as needed


  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 radishes, thinly shaved
  • fresh dill leaves
  • flaky sea salt (optional)


Crispy Braised Chicken

  1. Let the chicken sit out at room temperature for about 20 minutes. Pat the skin dry. Season on all sides generously with salt and black pepper. Distribute the fresh sage over the chicken on top of the skin. Press down so it sticks.
  2. Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to just coat the bottom. When the oil is hot, add a few pieces of chicken, skin-side down (you don’t want to overcrowd the pot; work in batches so each piece of chicken has plenty of room to crisp).
  3. Lower the heat to medium-low and let the chicken skin slowly crisp. It should take about 6-8 minutes. If you notice it browning too quickly, reduce the heat to low. Once golden and crisp, flip the chicken over. Cook for another minute or so. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken, adding a little more oil if needed. Once each batch is done, transfer all the chicken to the plate.
  4. To the same pot with the chicken drippings, add another tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and leeks. Sauté for a couple minutes until caramelized. Season with a pinch of salt. Stir in the garlic and kale. Let the kale begin to wilt.
  5. Pour in the wine and add the thyme sprigs. Use a wooden spoon to scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring the wine to a simmer. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock.
  6. Add the chicken back in. Try to keep most of the chicken skin above the liquid. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pot, leaving a corner open for the steam to escape. Simmer on low for about 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Discard the thyme sprigs.

Wild Rice

  1. Meanwhile, combine the wild rice, chicken stock, olive oil, thyme sprigs, and a pinch of salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let cook for 40 minutes.
  2. Turn off the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Discard the thyme sprigs.
  3. Taste the rice and season with more salt if needed. Keep warm until serving.

To Assemble

  1. Mound the rice into a large serving bowl or platter. Place the chicken onto the rice, spooning all of the sauce and vegetables over top. Garnish with the toasted walnuts, shaved radishes, and fresh dill.
  2. Sprinkle flaky sea salt over top (optional).


You can also serve this on individual plates. It makes really good leftovers, so even I’m just cooking for a couple of people, it’s great to make the whole recipe and heat up leftovers all week long.