Chicken, pumpkin and borlotti beans

June 4, 2011

A winner from Allegra McEvedy – this dish is so tasty and could easily be made without the chicken using vegetable stock for those who prefer. If you don’t have time (or the forethought!) to soak the borlotti beans and marinade the chicken overnight, it still works beautifully using a can of beans and cooking the chicken straight away. Serve with rice or couscous to soak up the delicious sauce.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1½ tbsp clear honey
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
¾ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
500g boneless chicken thighs, cut into large dice
120g dried borlotti beans (or 1 x 400g tin, drained, added at the same point in the recipe)
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 medium leek, thickly sliced and washed well
500ml chicken stock
1 heaped tbsp chopped sage
250g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 4cm dice
salt and pepper

Put the vinegar, mustard, honey, chilli, garlic, fennel seed, oregano, bay leaves and olive oil into a dish and roll the chicken around in it Put into the fridge to marinade overnight.(or prepare ready to cook immediately) At the same time, soak the borlotti beans overnight in plenty of cold water.

Next day, drain the borlotti, cover with fresh water and simmer until cooked – about 1½ hours. (or get your can of beans open and ready!)

When the beans are pretty much cooked, fry the chicken with the marinade in a dry, medium hot, heavy-bottomed saucepan – you don’t need any oil as it’s already in the marinade.

Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally; be careful about it catching on the bottom of the pan – caramelising good, burning bad.

Preheat the oven to 210C.

Add the tomatoes, leek, cooked drained beans, stock and sage to the chicken, stir well and simmer for about half an hour.

Roll the pumpkin cubes in a little olive oil and some seasoning, lay them out on a baking tray and roast in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, shuffling them once – you want them to have a bit of colour.

Once the pumpkin is done turn the chicken off and stir the pumpkin into it. Add a generous splosh of great olive oil to finish – it’s even better the next day.

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