Chicken Casserole with Cannelini Beans and Mashed Potatoes

This meal requires some advance prep – the chicken has to sit in its marinade for several hours, ideally overnight. So this one went into the fridge the day before; the chicken sits in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs de Provence, plus a couple of peeled cloves of garlic and some bay leaves.

The next day, you take the chicken out and brown in it in a pan, then transfer to a casserole dish. Next, fry the chopped leek in the same oil, and then add the rest of the marinade and some water and bring it to the boil. Add the drained cannelini beans and the hot liquid to the casserole dish, put a lid on and stick it in the oven.

This recipe is from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries, and he recommends putting it in the oven for 2 hours. However, he also makes this for a bigger number of people so I used less water and put it in the oven for an hour.

The end result was… nice. Not amazing, but no bad. It actually smelled much more flavoursome than it actually tasted. This is possible because I used chicken thighs rather than a jointed chicken, and I was probably a bit stingy with my seasoning. It may also be that I didn’t leave it in the oven long enough, so the liquid wasn’t reduced down enough.

Mashed potato on the side is a work of genius though – it really helps with mopping up all the juices.