Tradition can be a beautiful thing, and tradition in food is a way to connect ourselves to our past and preserve ourselves for the future (in more ways than one). Chicken with BBQ sauce dripping off into blades of grass, quintessential to our summers. Spoon bread is a Southern classic with its own festival, here moist and sweet with corn and Parmesan. For a modern healthy twist on greens, we've substituted kale for more traditional fare. It tastes great, and is great for you.
Trim and thinly slice green onions on an angle, keeping white and green portions separate. Mince garlic. Stem kale and coarsely chop. Pat chicken breasts dry, and season both sides with ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch of pepper.
Make the Spoon Bread
Combine ½ cup water, corn, corn muffin mix, Parmesan, sour cream, green portions of green onion, and ¼ tsp. salt in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until thin, like a pourable pancake batter. If too thick, add water 2 Tbsp. at a time until consistency is reached. Transfer batter into prepared small casserole dish and place on one half of prepared baking sheet.
Sear the Chicken
Heat a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. olive oil and chicken to hot pan and cook until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Place chicken on other half of baking sheet. Reserve pan; no need to wipe clean.
Bake Chicken and Spoon Bread
Bake until chicken reaches a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees and spoon bread is firm, 15-20 minutes. Rest chicken 5 minutes, then brush with BBQ sauce. Cut or pinch half the butter (reserve remaining for kale) into pea-sized pieces and carefully dot top of spoon bread. While chicken and spoon bread bake, braise kale.
Braise the Kale
Place pan used to sear chicken over medium-high heat. Add 2 tsp. olive oil, white portions of green onion, and garlic to hot pan and cook until golden brown and fragrant, 30-90 seconds. Add kale and ¼ cup water and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until kale has softened and liquid has evaporated, 6-9 minutes. Remove from burner, stir in remaining butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Plate the Dish
Place chicken and kale on a plate. Serve spoon bread alongside.