Lemony Braised Chicken and Kale

Lemony Braised Chicken and Kale for every weeknight dinner from now till Kingdom cooooome.

Lemony Braised Chicken with Kale

I’ve got something to tell ya. I’ve got news for you. <- Vengaboys reference, anyone? Yeeeer welcome.

You look like you could use a drumstick. That’s my news.

I’ve been meaning to share one of my favorite dinner recipes from that cookbook I wrote…have you heard of it? Let Them Eat Kale!? Word has it, there’s 75 recipes and all the things kale inside. But no kale brownies. Because chocolate + beets = bueno, but chocolate + kale = blarf.

Anyhoo, the Lemony Braised Chicken and Kale recipe from the book was one of my favorites, and can be made on any weeknight. Get your protein, get your fiber, save your sugars for all the black bean brownies to be consumed post-meal.

Lemony Braised Chicken with Kale

One of my friends and her boyfriend have made this recipe a staple on their menu. It warms my heart every time she tells me she made my lemony chicken, plus her love and devotion to the recipe essentially means it has been tested 18 trillion times. So you can be rest assured that this thing will sit pleasantly in your mouth and belly.

Do you ever eat straight up kale by sauteing, steaming, or braising it? Just allow the dang leaf to shine, rather than hiding it in a smoothie or pancakes? I’m partial to simple slam bam-you-in-the-face kale recipes, and my favorite add-ins are garlic and lemon. So simple, so scrumptious. This is how whole heads of kale disappear before your very mouth.

Lemony Braised Chicken with Kale

Since braising is a cooking method that uses both dry heat and wet heat, we pan-sear the chicken and then add it to an oven safe pot (such as a Dutch oven), along with kale sauteed with onion, delicious white vino, chicken broth, and lemon juice. We cover, we bake, we conquer.

When I braise chicken, I like to use a whole dang chicken. The meat will turn out more tender (tenderer? Tenderest? Tinder? Swipe right? Anyhoo.) when it’s seared and braised with skin and bones versus boneless skineless cuts. If you do decide to go the boneless, skinless route, be careful to not over-cook the chicken so that it doesn’t dry out. Dried out chicken does not a sexy meal make #ProTip.

Because gnawing on bone-in chicken is both fun and delicious.

Lemony Braised Chicken with Kale

Lemony Braised Chicken and Kale

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 3 to 4
Author: Julia
Recipe reprinted from Julia Mueller's cookbook, Let Them Eat Kale!


  • 1 whole chicken butchered*
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil separated
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine such as sauvignon blanc
  • 1 whole lemon zested and juiced
  • 1 leaves head curly kale chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Optional for Serving:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cooked brown or white rice


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.
  2. Sprinkle the raw chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place them skin-side down on the hot cast iron skillet.
  3. Cook until the chicken becomes crispy and browned, about 8 minutes. Flip chicken to the other side, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes but do not cook the chicken all the way through. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. In a large (6-quart) Dutch oven (or large oven-safe pot), heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
  6. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and sauté another couple of minutes.
  8. Arrange the pieces of chicken in the pot so that they are skin-side up.
  9. Pour the chicken broth, wine, lemon juice, and lemon zest over the chicken.
  10. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Allow chicken to cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken breasts reach 160 degrees F and the thigh pieces reach 180 degrees F.
  11. Remove the pot from the oven, add the kale leaves, stir them into the chicken and broth, replace the cover, and place pot back in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until kale has softened.
  12. Carefully remove the pot from the oven. Serve kale and chicken with spoonfuls of the broth. You can also serve the meal with mashed potatoes or cooked brown rice!

Recipe Notes

* You can also use 1-1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs


Never Miss a Post!


  1. Faith

    Our favorite meal from Let Them Eat Kale! <3 At least a few times a month this is a request for the dinner menu. So much flavor, and makes our bellies feel happy! The Kale Burrito Bowl is a very close second from your cookbook… and the list goes on and on…

  2. Susan

    This recipe sounds wonderful, but I notice that there is no information on how many this should serve? I’m guessing 4 people?

    1. Julia Post author

      Yup, you guessed correctly! Although I have to admit, the first time I made the recipe it served two, because I (and the person I was with) are big volume eaters, haha! I went ahead and added the serving size to the recipe card. Thanks for the catch!!

    1. Julia Post author

      I did not know that, lol! Gaaaah I miss music from that era. I wish the Vengaboys would do a concert in Reno…slash make all the new albums 😉

  3. Jolena @TheRubyKitchen

    I am always trying to discover new ways to use kale and for some reason never thought to braise it. I love the dark meat of chicken. It is so moist and flavorful. I love the flavors you used in this. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Joanne

    I love hitting myself over the head with ALL THE KALE. You know it’s my favorite, yet I rarely just go the simply sauteed route. I think I need to uncomplicate my life (and dinner) by keeping it simple from now on!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.