My beautiful, red, heavy as my child, round ceramic casserole dish was looking all forlorn in my cupboard. Neglected even. Time to dust it off and cook up some hearty meals!
You’ll need a pot that can go on the stove top and in the oven for this; only one pan to wash up!
The combination of lemon and chicken is so sweet and satisfying and using white beans continues the ‘light’ feel of this dish. Go heavy on the dill to balance the lemon flavour (or use parsley or mint if you don’t like dill!).
I think the next time I make this, I’ll add some more green to it; so stir through a bunch of English Spinach, or some peas to ‘lift’ the colour.
2 x tins of white beans. (I used cannelini and butter beans, but use whatever you have)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek – white part only, finely sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 kg chicken thigh – skinless and boneless, trimmed of excess fat
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp dry dill
1 cup approximately of chicken stock
Fresh dill and parsley to serve
Salt & Pepper to taste
In a large, oven proof dish with lid, heat the oil and saute the leek and garlic until the leek softens.
Drain and rinse the beans then add to the pot.
Pat the chicken thighs down with paper towel and season with salt and pepper (I used a flavoured salt I make which is garlic, sage and rosemary dried then added to sea salt)
Turn off the heat under the pot and add the lemon juice and zest.
Lay the chicken thighs over the beans.
Cover with enough stock to cover the beans but not the chicken.
Add the dry herbs.
Cover and bake for around 90 minutes in a 180 degree oven.
Remove from the oven and carefully put the chicken on a plate to cool enough to handle, then shred.
If the beans are too liquid-y, pop the pan over a high heat and simmer until some of the liquid evaporates.
Add the shredded chicken to the beans and stir.
Check for seasoning and lemon juice and add more as needed.
Sprinkle over some fresh dill and serve over rice or with crusty fresh bread.
*This dish freezes well and serves 6-8