July 25, 2015

Roasted Chicken with Cannellini Beans and Tomatoes

This recipe is the epitome of a one-pot meal. You get to have a protein, a starch, and a veggie all using only one skillet and one cookie tray, which I definitely appreciate given my lack of time after class and my teeny summer kitchen. This dish is also really healthy and really colorful, plus I get to use some gorgeous cherry tomatoes from my local farmers' market. It's a win-win-win-win-win meal.

In my opinion, the chicken is the most important part of the dish. It's crispy, salty, juicy, and tender. As for most of my roasted chicken dishes, I prefer bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. They have all the flavor from the bone plus the skin gets shatteringly crispy. They also don't take as long to cook as bone-in, skin-on breasts, which means the tomatoes and beans don't burn and you get to eat it that much sooner.

The chicken is seasoned simply with flaky salt and freshly cracked black pepper before being seared in a big skillet. If you have an oven-safe skillet big enough to hold all your chicken, I'd recommend using that for all the cooking for the whole dish. I, however, like to make big batches of this since the leftovers are so good, so I cook the chicken in batches and finish everything on a baking tray.

Regardless of the pan you use, sear the chicken until golden and crisp. Patting the skin dry before you cook it helps develop that delicious crust, and so does not overcrowding the pan. If you have too much chicken in the pan, the pan cools down and basically just steams your chicken, which isn't really what you want here. It's better to cook in batches; the crispiness is worth the extra time.

You should end up with a good portion of chicken drippings when you're done. Normally, I'd go ahead and make some gravy, but here I use them to flavor the tomatoes and beans underneath. I whisk the drippings with garlic, herbs, and spices, and you can also add a splash of balsamic vinegar if you want to go in more of an Italian direction, though this is already pretty Mediterranean.

The chicken dripping mixture gets tossed with the cherry tomatoes and cannellini beans (or you could use chickpeas instead). I use fresh whole cherry tomatoes and rinsed canned cannellini beans (try saying canned cannellinis three times fast). They add bulk and flavor to the meal without being insanely expensive, plus the cherry tomatoes at my farmers' market look fantastic. You've probably noticed that I just used red ones for the batch that I photographed, but any bite-sized tomato--red, yellow, purple, orange, or otherwise--will work perfectly.

I finish the dish in the oven so that the chicken cooks through and drips even more flavor onto the beans and tomatoes below. It's best hot out of the oven, but it's easy to make a big batch so you can eat the leftovers all week. I'd recommend sticking portions back into the oven so the chicken skin re-crisps, but any way you eat it will be miles better than a sad-looking sandwich that got smushed on your way to work. It's a great weeknight meal, especially if you get to eat leftovers for the next few days.

8 Bone-In Skin-On Chicken Thighs
2 15.5 oz Cans Cannellini Beans, Drained & Rinsed
3 Cups Cherry Tomatoes
8 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Sprigs Rosemary
4 Sprigs Thyme
1 Sprig Oregano
1 1/2 tsp Paprika

Heat oven to 400F.

Heat some oil in a large skillet. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear until deep golden brown on both sides, cooking in batches as necessary. Set aside and reserve the drippings.

Toss the beans, tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and paprika together with the chicken drippings; season with salt and pepper.

Spread the vegetable mixture in a thin layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Nestle the chicken on top and roast for 16-18 minutes or until cooked through.

Serves 4-6
Recipe Adapted from Bon Appetit


  1. This recipe was amazing!! I added some browned Italian sausage and thawed, drained spinach to the beans, just because I had then on hand, and it was delicious!!

    1. Thanks for the feedback! Did you stick to cannellini beans or did you try something new? I'll have to try it with Italian sausage because that sounds delicious!