This is a Nigel Slater recipe that I really didn’t trust to taste as good as it does – sorry Nigel! I just felt like chicken without onions, garlic or even a little white wine would be sub-par. But it turns out a professional chef knows more than I do. Surprising.
2 chicken breasts
2 tins haricot beans
8 sprigs of thyme
500ml chicken stock
4 tbsp parsley
Using a heavy knife, cut 2 bone-in chicken breasts in half and season them with salt and black pepper. Warm a little olive oil in a sauté pan, add the chicken and let it brown on both sides.
Drain a couple of 400g tins of haricot beans and add them to the pan together with 8 little sprigs of thyme, 500ml of chicken stock and the juice of a lemon.
Bring the stock and beans to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley, check the seasoning and serve.
Keep the heat low to moderate in order to give the chicken plenty of time to cook through to the bone. Regularly baste it with the cooking juices to keep the meat moist.
Use a good-quality readymade chicken stock. Most supermarkets and butchers have them in the chilled section.
Use other members of the bean family, such as butter beans, flageolet or cannellini. Try adding tarragon to the stock instead of thyme, as it works beautifully with the chicken stock and lemon.
To make a really fast version of the dish, use boned chicken breast pieces instead of bone-in breasts. You can make a similar recipe with duck breast, too, but omit the lemon and add a dash of Marsala instead.
Image found here