Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Favorite One-Pot Meal

With dinner guests coming on Tuesday and overnight temps in the 20s, I needed ideas for a tasty winter meal. It had to be something I could assemble quickly, since I work all day, and I didn't want something too meaty, since I'd just made meatloaf on Sunday. Fork had a brilliant suggestion: "How about that chicken you make in your dutch oven with the white beans?" It's not for nothing that I'm engaged to this genius.

The recipe for Baked Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes came to me by way of Aunt Betty (and you thought she was only a desserts whiz--ha). Not only is it a one-pot meal, it also calls for just five ingredients! This is a dish you want in your winter repertoire, trust me. Canned, stewed tomatoes give a hint of sweetness, and once you throw in bacon and onions, a humdrum chicken-and-beans dish becomes a standout meal.

I served the chicken with some roasted potatoes of debatable provenance: I got the recipe from my mom, who got it from Micol Negrin, but Fork maintains Jacques Pepin is the guy behind the dish, and he got the recipe from his mom. Whatever, they're great. You boil baby new potatoes just until they're tender, then smash them slightly and roast them in a 400-degree oven with olive oil, and just before serving toss them with minced garlic and herbs (last night I used thyme). We also enjoyed a Caesar salad with my cousin Mike's dressing, which was, as usual, excellent.

Enjoy winter--for now, anyway!--S

Baked Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes

6 bacon slices (1/4 lb total), cut into 1-inch pieces
4 large chicken thighs with skin and bone (1 1/2 lb total)
2 medium onions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 (14- to 16-oz) can stewed tomatoes including juice
2 (15- to 16-oz) cans small white beans, rinsed and drained

1. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Cook bacon in a 10-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer bacon with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, reserving fat in skillet.
3. While bacon is browning, pat chicken dry and season with 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper. Brown chicken in fat in skillet over moderately high heat, turning over once, about 8 minutes total, then transfer chicken with tongs to paper towels to drain.
4. Pour off all but 3 T fat from skillet and reduce heat to moderate. Cook onions in skillet with 1/4 t salt, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Stir tomatoes and juice into onions and boil, uncovered, 3 minutes, to concentrate juices slightly. Stir in bacon and beans and bring to a simmer. Nestle chicken, skin side up, in beans and bake, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Recipe courtesy of Gourmet.


Anonymous said...


Thought you and Fork were too busy with the bliss of engagement and wedding planning (BTW, Congrats!!) and wouldn't post any more recipes! My office is relieved as they wanted some more recommendations for dishes after I passed on the broccoli soup and tortellini soup.

And, funny, I had to come here to get one of Aunt Betty's recommended recipes! She never shared this one with me!!

Uncle Marc

Susan said...

Inspired to try the baked chicken with white beans & tomatoes last night -- a big success. Thank you.

Questions re: roasted, smashed new potatoes. Should they be peeled? How long are should they be roasted at 400?

SarahHutch said...

I'm going to try making this recipe on the stove just by putting a lid on and letting it all simmer together for a while. I'll let you know how it turns out.

S & F said...

Sue! Nope, don't peel the potatoes, the skins will crisp up nicely. I know they are supposed to be "thumbsmashed," but I found using the flat edge of a knife or spoon is easier. Time in the oven can vary, but you want them to get nicely brown and crispy. Most of the cooking happens in the boiling part, they mostly finish in the oven, so brown to your preference!