April 3, 2013

Google's Braised Chicken and Kale


I came across this recipe in Bon Appetit. It caught my eye because my brother-in-law works for Google and I've heard tales of the food. There's a salad bar of course, and soups and sandwiches and pizza and burgers and pasta. But there are also Chinese and Indian stations, serving noodles, tofu stir fry, daal and saag paneer. You can get carnitas burritos, bi bim bap, sushi and empanadas. Nuts, berries, and freshly squeezed juices. And did I mention that it's all free?

With such a strong reputation for their food, I figured any recipe that Google shared with Bon Appetit would be a winner. But I was stuck on the kale.

My long lost friend, kale.

I haven't eaten kale for almost two years. Not because I don't like it. I do. I did. Until I joined a CSA and got a fat bunch of kale in my box every week for five straight months. I ate it shredded, torn and tossed in salads. I stir fried it with olive oil and garlic, and I served it steamed, with a pat of butter. I made kale chips. And then I just couldn't eat any more kale. 

But now here it was again. And I was considering it. Seriously considering it. When I tasted it in this recipe, it was as if we'd never met before. I'd forgotten its rich earthy flavor. And how it stays just a little bit crisp even when it's cooked.

The recipe was a winner. And kale is back on my grocery list.

Start with bone-in chicken thighs. I bought thighs with skin and bones, then just pulled the skin off. (It's easy if you just grip the skin with a paper towel and pull.)

Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper.

Cook until the chicken is golden brown. It won't be cooked through yet. Give the chicken enough space to brown; you may have to do this step in two batches, as I did.

Cook garlic and onion until tender and golden brown.

Add the chicken (and any chicken juices) back to the pot.

Then add broth, wine, and herbs.

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer...

...until the chicken is cooked through.

 Add the kale. Cover and simmer for about five more minutes...

...until the kale is wilted but still bright green.

I served the chicken and kale over polenta, which was perfect for soaking up the tasty sauce.

Google's Braised Chicken and Kale

Recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

4 chicken legs, drumsticks and thighs separated (I used 8 chicken thighs with bones, skin removed)
1 Tbsp paprika
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme
1 large bunch kale, center ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into 1-inch strips
Lemon wedges

1.    Sprinkle chicken with paprika; season with salt and pepper.

2.    Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chicken skin side down and cook, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, 8-10 minutes; transfer to a plate.

3.    Add onion and garlic to pot and cook, stirring often, until softened, 8-10 minutes.

4.    Return chicken to pot. Add broth, wine, and herbs. Bring to a boil; cover. Reduce heat; simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.

5.    Add kale to pot. Cover; cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Discard herbs.

6.    Serve chicken and kale with lemon wedges.

Serves 4

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