Braised Chicken Thighs with Escarole

I never liked chicken thighs until I tasted this dish. Homey and flavorful, this braise is great for a weekday meal (which you can prep and freeze ahead) and truly spectacular for a dinner party. It’s best to make this the day before you want to serve it, to let the flavors develop.

You can substitute kale or broccoli rabe for the escarole Serve the chicken with mashed potatoes, polenta, rice, and/or French bread.

Serves 6 to 8.

4 sweet or spicy Italian sausages, pricked with a fork and cut in big chunks
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of fat and patted dry
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ red onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup green olives, pitted
1 large head escarole (about 1 pound), stem part removed and leaves coarsely chopped

1. Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add the sausages. Cook, turning occasionally, until they are browned, about 10 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.

2. Remove all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet.

3. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. Reheat the skillet and add the chicken, skin side down. Cook until well browned, about 4 minutes per side. Lower the heat to low, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat, and add the onion, garlic, thyme, and rosemary; cook for 10 minutes. Add the wine and chicken broth and continue cooking, turning the chicken halfway through, until the meat starts to fall away from the bone, about 1 hour. Using tongs, remove the chicken and set aside with the sausage.

4. Add the green olives and escarole to the skillet and cook until the escarole wilts, about 10 minutes. Return the chicken and sausage to the pan and cook for 10 minutes.

5. Let the mixture cool, and then skim off and discard the fat. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or place in a resealable plastic bag and freeze for up to 2 months. If frozen, defrost. Reheat by placing over medium heat and cooking until warmed through, about 10 minutes.

From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)