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 have a bee in my bonnet 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.