Step 1Chop the onion; smash and peel the garlic. Rinse and drain the beans in a colander or strainer.
Step 2Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and black pepper. Add the oil to the Dutch oven. When the oil is hot, add the chicken skinned (rounded) sides down, and brown, in batches if necessary, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter when done.
Step 3When all the chicken has been browned, reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs; cook, stirring until the onions are slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until brick red, about 1 minute. Add the wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits that cling to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook until syrupy, about 1 minute.
Step 4Add the beans, tomatoes and chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Nestle the chicken pieces in the stew, adding to the pan any collected juices from the plate. Simmer the stew, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Step 5Trim the escarole and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. (If you're using baby spinach, there's no need to do this.) Wash the escarole or spinach and drain. Add the greens to the stew, cooking only until wilted, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve in shallow bowls.