Dream dinners: Hunter’s chicken with smashed white beans

The smashed beans help to soak up the delicious sauce, as well as providing protein and dietary fibre. Both the butter beans and spinach contain calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Hunter's chicken
Joff Lee

SERVES 4

PREP 15 minutes
COOK 1 hour

8 chicken thighs, skinned
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
15g unsalted butter
1 whole garlic bulb, unpeeled and cut in half horizontally
2 carrots, chopped
350g chestnut mushrooms, halved or quartered
A few fresh rosemary sprigs
420ml chicken stock
60ml crème fraîche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

SMASHED WHITE BEANS
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fresh rosemary sprig
200g baby spinach leaves
2 x 400g cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
Grated zest of 1 lemon

  1. Dust the chicken lightly with flour. Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy saucepan set over a medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook, turning them occasionally, until they are golden brown on all sides.
  2. Add the garlic, carrots and mushrooms to cook for 5 minutes, then add the rosemary and chicken stock. Cover and simmer gently for about 45 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and really tender and the sauce has reduced.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and squeeze the garlic out of its skin into the sauce. Stir in the crème fraîche.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, make the white beans. Heat the oil in a small pan and cook the onion and rosemary gently for about 10 minutes until really tender.
  5. Add the spinach and cook for 1-2 minutes until it wilts. Remove the rosemary and blitz the onion and spinach with the beans and lemon zest in a blender or food processor until you have a thick purée. Reheat in the pan and season to taste.
  6. Spoon the chicken in its sauce on to four serving plates and serve with the beans.

TIP Swap the butter beans for a can of cannellini or haricot beans, or serve with brown rice.

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