Crisp Braised Chicken and White Beans
2-4 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (see note)
Olive oil or bacon fat for sauteeing
Kosher salt
2 oz prosciutto or diced (about 2 thin slices or 1/4 cup diced)
2 tsp finely minced fresh rosemary, divided
2 tsp minced garlic (1 very large or 2 small cloves)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock, divided
1 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, drained and rinsed (or leftover cooked beans).
Preheat the oven to 300F.
Sprinkle the chicken thighs lightly with salt. Pour a thin, even coat of oil or bacon fat into a medium skillet (or oven-proof braising pan if you have it) and heat over medium heat until oil shimmers. Add the chicken pieces, skin-side down, and cook until the skin turns golden brown. Turn and brown the other side. Remove the chicken from the pan.
Pour off all but a light coating of the fat. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring, until crisp and slightly browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and 1-1/2 tsp of the rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the white wine and stir to dissolve the browned fond from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a few minutes to reduce by about half. Add about 2/3 cup of chicken stock and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.
If your pan is oven safe, add the chicken pieces skin side up. If not, transfer the liquid to a large oven-proof pan (with lid) and add the chicken. Add more chicken stock, if necessary, to bring the level of liquid about half to two-thirds up the sides of the chicken pieces -- do not submerge the tops of the thighs.
Cover the pan and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and turn the oven up to 400˚F.
Take the chicken out of the sauce and set aside for a few minutes. Strain the sauce into a fat separator and allow the sauce to clarify (see note).
Pour the defatted sauce back into the pan and add the drained white beans. Stir the beans into the sauce, adding more chicken stock if the beans seem dry. Add the chicken thighs, skin side up, to the beans.
Return the pan -- uncovered -- to the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes. (Check the chicken at 15 minutes. The skin should be deep golden brown and crisp. If not, cook for another 5 minutes or so. If the beans seem dry, add a little more chicken stock.)
Remove the pan from the oven. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Spoon the beans into two bowls and place the chicken on top. Sprinkle the reserved rosemary over the top and serve.
If you don't have a fat separator, pour the sauce into a shallow bowl and let cool until the fat rises to the surface. Spoon or blot off as much as you can. Continue with the recipe.
Chicken thighs can vary quite a bit in size. If they're very small, you'll probably want to use four. Otherwise, use two large ones.
Prosciutto is quite salty. Depending on the salt level of your stock and beans, you probably won't need to add salt to the finished dish. If you don't have low sodium stock, use half stock and half water.