This is based on a recipe by Michael Chiarello that used potatoes instead of white beans. I thought white beans would go really well with the lemon, garlic and rosemary, as I love white bean dip with all those ingredients. My hypothesis was correct.
Be careful to rinse, drain and pat the beans a little with a paper towel or the extra moisture on the beans could cause the olive oil to splatter a bit. The beans don’t get crunchy per se, but they do get a little dry and golden brown. They definitely gain some flavor from the heat of the pan.
The sauce is indeed lemony. Add the butter, it will be good. Also, a little feta cheese on the top of the plated chicken is tasty. Trust me on that one.
Chicken with White Beans, Rosemary & Lemon
(Serves two like this; double for four)
salt & pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 15-oz can white beans, rinsed, drained, and patted dry with a paper towel
2 small cloves garlic, minced (or 1 large clove)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (I think I added a little more than this)
1 tbsp unsalted butter, optional
Rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Preheat the broiler. Cut the lemon in half crosswise and then arrange, flesh side up, in a flameproof nonreactive baking dish. Brush with olive oil and season with salt.
Broil the lemon halves about six inches or more from the heat until browned and soft, about 5-8 minutes. Cool slightly. Squeeze the lemon halves over a sieve suspended over a bowl. Push and stir the pulp through the sieve with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to get as much juice out as possible. Discard the lemon peels.
Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the chicken, lower the heat to medium, and cook, turning once, until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate or baking sheet.
Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the beans, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and tossing, until a bit golden, about 3-5 minutes.
Arrange the chicken breasts on top of the beans and place in the oven until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the chicken to a platter and the beans to a bowl — cover both with foil while making the sauce.
Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the garlic and rosemary, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. If the pan is pretty dry, add about a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the chicken broth and reserved lemon juice. Stir and scrape up all the browned bits that cling to the bottom and sides of the pan. Bring to a simmer stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. If the sauce tastes too lemony, add a tablespoon or two more of broth and stir in the optional butter.
Add a few big spoonfuls of white beans to a plate and then top with a chicken breast. Pour the sauce over the chicken and beans and serve immediately, garnished with rosemary sprigs.