A Weeknight Skillet Chicken Dinner, Rich With Greens

If the overabundance of root vegetables like sunchokes, black radishes and kohlrabies the size of my head is the late-winter scourge of my C.S.A., the steady supply of braising greens is its redemption. No matter how many bunches of curly kale, sturdy collard greens and steely chard arrive each week, there’s always a place on my table for their floppy, verdant magic.

I sauté them most nights in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes, adding whatever soft herbs need using up. A splash of water, stock or wine helps wilt and soften everything, especially the hardier plants like collards and broccoli rabe. We pile them on toast, submerge them in soup, top them with an egg or toss them into pasta. And when no one else is home, I simply spoon the cooked greens into a bowl, sprinkle Parmesan over the top and devour the entire bunch all by myself.

Recipe: Herby Skillet Chicken With Greens

For this recipe, I nestled my beloved greens in their pan with chicken thighs, another weeknight favorite. It makes for a skillet dinner that’s not much harder than cooking the greens by themselves, but a lot more substantial.

I chose boneless, skinless thighs because they’re forgiving and cook quickly. But bone-in, skin-on thighs are a great alternative, provided you add about 10 minutes to the roasting time. Chicken breasts — either bone-in or boneless — will also work well. Boneless breasts have a narrow window of being done but not overdone, usually about 5 to 7 minutes less than boneless thighs, so watch them carefully. In any case, you’ve got options.

Ditto for the greens. Kale, collards and chard are my usuals for braising, because that’s what’s usually in the C.S.A. box. But the broccoli spigarello and broccoli rabe I tested while developing this recipe were also divine, adding pleasing bitter notes to the mix. Just avoid baby tender greens, which easily turn to mush.

Grated lemon zest mixed in right at the end adds some revelatory brightness. And if you’re a fan, olives or capers gives this a briny zing that rounds out the earthiness of the greens.

Serve this skillet meal alongside something that will capture all the savory, schmaltzy sauce — crusty bread, rice or noodles. Or you could pop a pan of root vegetables into the oven to roast along with the chicken. If they’re going to keep arriving, we may as well give them a chance to shine.

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