Chicken with Flageolet Beans, Leeks and Rosemary

I am on a bit of a mission to increase our intake of pulses – they are cheap, filling and with a little magic can be quite delicious.  I love them (now) but one of my children isn’t mad about them so inevitably I make it my mission to think of delicious ways to serve them up.  To be fair I didn’t really like pulses much when younger and would pick them out of a cassoulet or chilli and line them up around my plate.  It was always disappointing then to be asked to finish them, at this point cold and without anything more palatable to help them on their way.

This is a delicious combo then, leeks and beans to please me and crispy skinned chicken to please us all.  Don’t panic that four thighs aren’t enough, this is surprisingly filling and you can always serve another green veg or perhaps a crusty baguette and salad alongside.

The leeks, flageolet and rosemary work particularly well together and this makes a great side dish to roast lamb.  Pop it into an ovenproof dish, top with breadcrumbs and finish in the oven until crispy above and bubbling beneath.

Roast chicken with leeks, flageolet beans and rosemary

You can of course use dried flageolet, just remember to soak and cook them according to pack instructions prior to using them below.

4 chicken thighs

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large or two medium leeks

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 sprig rosemary, leaves finely chopped to yield around 1 teaspoon

1 tin (400g) flageolet beans, drained and rinsed

250ml chicken stock

2-3 tablespoons double cream

Chopped chives or parsley (optional)

Heat the oven to 200, put half a tablespoon of the oil into a roasting tin, turn the chicken in the oil, season with salt and cook for half an hour.  Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan and cook the leek gently, without colouring, until soft.  Add the garlic and rosemary, cook for a minute or two then add the beans, stock and cream.  Simmer for about 10 minutes until a little reduced then check for seasoning.   After its 30 minutes remove the chicken from the oven, add the leek mixture to the pan without getting sauce on the now crispy skin and return to the oven for a final 5-10 minutes until gently bubbling and gold skinned. Scatter over the chives or parsley if you are using them.  Serves 4.

 

 

Roast Butternut with Cheese, Leeks and Parsley

Barbers 1883 Butternut

This has to be a contender for the ultimate comfort food – sweet, roasted, caramelised butternut with a hint of chilli filled with melty leeks, strong tangy cheddar and a final flourish of fresh, verdant parsley.  The molten, almost fondue like, cheese combines so well with the squash;  cosy, heart and soul warming food – a veritable hug on a cold and rainy day.

These are all ingredients I keep to hand at this time of year and if I wasn’t going to go the above route (although why I wouldn’t, I can’t think…) I have another idea for you.  Roast chunks of butternut in the oven, meanwhile soften leeks in a large pan with a splash of oil and a knob of butter.  When the butternut is soft add to the leeks with a litre of vegetable or chicken stock, a splash of dry sherry and a pinch of chilli flakes.  Whizz with a hand held blender and serve with a swirl of cream and a slice or two of cheese on toast.

Two choices, which way to go…..

Roast Butternut with Cheese, Leeks and Parsley

1 butternut

Pinch of chilli flakes

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 teaspoon butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1 large leek (or 2 small) washed and sliced

80g strong cheddar, I used Barbers 1833

1 tablespoon cream

10g parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 200.  Cut the butternut in half, scoop out the seeds and then brush the cut surface with a little olive oil.  Sprinkle with a pinch of chilli flakes, salt and pepper and roast for an hour or until soft and caramelised.  Meanwhile melt the remaining oil and the butter in a pan and cook the onion and leek gently until soft.   Add the grated cheese, cream, parsley and season to taste.  When the butternut is done remove from the oven, divide the leek mixture between the two halves, sprinkle with a little extra cheddar if you want and then return to the oven for 5-10 minutes until golden brown on top and bubbling.  This would serve two for lunch with some quick pickled onions (August 2014) and a salad or four as a side if you halved each half.

Barbers very kindly gave me some of their Vintage Reserve Cheddar and this is what I used for this recipe.