If cooking a yummy meal was a love language it would without a doubt be mine. Growing up I had a little bit of Leave it to Beaver syndrome where I thought that dinner was meant to be served at six and everyone would happily gather around the table discussing the days events.
My intention is not to sound cynical, but the Leave it to Beaver dream is just that, a dream. Between work obligations, raising kids, and house hold duties the modern family is lucky to be able to sit down for a meal together. Which is why preparing a comforting meal for my friends and family to enjoy (and hopefully devour) is they way I show I care.
Now this doesn’t mean that these meals have to be ornate and elaborate, with busy schedules quick and easy recipes are the bees knees my friend. Typically, I like to seek out new recipes to try (Cooking Light magazine and Pinterest are my go tos), but it’s nice to have a good foundation of recipes that you know are good and that you can make pretty much blind folded.
Enter the chicken and beans recipe.
Originally this recipe was given to me by the family I nannied for in New York; the dish had a regular appearance at their dinner table and was super easy to prep making it a go-to weeknight meal. Over the years I’ve tweaked the recipe, but nevertheless it has turned into one of my family’s favorite dishes as well.
The tomatoes burst with just the right amount of sweetness and the fresh herbs and white wine make for a great sauce to dip a slice of crusty bread in. Serve with a side salad and you’ll have your family around the dinner table in no time.
CHICKEN AND BEANS // serves 4
31 oz canned cannellini beans, rinsed
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 bag fresh spinach
4 sprigs each thyme & oregano
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt & pepper to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Chop the herbs. In a large mixing bowl toss: beans, thyme, oregano, garlic, red pepper, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, white wine and 1 tbs olive oil.
Rinse and pat chicken dry. Using 1 tbs olive oil rub both sides of chicken breast then season each side with salt and pepper.
In a 9×13 baking dish line the bottom with 1/2 bag of fresh spinach. Add bean and tomato mixture and top with chicken breast.
Roast 35-45 minutes until chicken is golden and cooked through. Broil on high 2-3 minutes to crisp the tops of the chicken.
Remove from oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Move chicken to a plate.
Divide the bean and tomato mixture between 4 bowls and top with each with a chicken breast. Do not drain the liquid, rather pour an remaining liquid over each piece of chicken. Serve with crusty bread to soak up the broth.
Note: this recipe tastes best with fresh herbs, but if none are available, substitute 1/2 tsp each of dried thyme and oregano.
Yum I can practically smell the chicken and beans goodness now – enjoy!
Do you have a ‘go-to’ weeknight recipe? Mind sharing?
Pop the recipe into the comments below so we can add it to our recipe boxes!