Herby lemon chicken with Tuscan beans

Herby lemon chicken with Tuscan beans

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(21 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins

More effort

Serves 4 - 6

Try this summer alternative to a traditional Sunday roast, best enjoyed al fresco

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal648
  • fat35g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs18g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre6g
  • protein64g
  • salt3.67g
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  • 1 large chicken, between 1½ kg-2kg/3lb 5oz - 4lb 8oz, depending on how many you're feeding



    While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…

  • zest and juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • thyme sprigs, some leaves stripped, some sprigs just pulled into pieces


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

For the beans

  • 140g pack cubetti di pancetta



    Pancetta is Italian cured pork belly - the equivalent of streaky bacon. It has a deep, strong,…

  • 4 celery sticks, very finely chopped



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 fat garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 x 400g cans butter beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 thyme sprig


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • small glass white wine (about 125-150ml)
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. First, spatchcock the chicken (see our step-by-step video here). Sit the chicken on a board, breast-side down with the wing-end away from you. Use a strong pair of kitchen scissors to cut along either side of the backbone to remove it, cutting through the ribs as you go. Open out the chicken like a book, flip so it is now breast- side up, then press down on the breasts with the heel of your hand to flatten slightly – you are trying to get an even thickness across the whole joint. If you have any long skewers, diagonally criss-cross two, skewering through the legs and breast to hold in position. Sit the chicken in a dish or roasting tin. Mix the lemon zest and juice, olive oil and thyme with some pepper, rub all over the chicken, then cover and chill for up to a day.

  2. Get the beans ready by gently frying the pancetta in a pan – you shouldn’t need any extra oil if you start it slowly. When the pancetta is golden and crisp, lift it out with a slotted spoon, then add the celery and garlic to the remaining fat in the pan. Gently cook for 10-12 mins until soft. Scrape into a medium-size deep roasting tin or baking dish with the pancetta, butter beans, thyme, wine, stock and plenty of seasoning. Set aside until ready to cook.

  3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Transfer the chicken to a rack, breastside up, that will rest above the beans (sit the beans on a large baking sheet if the chicken overhangs at all, to keep your oven clean). Season the chicken with salt and roast for 40-50 mins until the chicken is cooked through – cut into one of the legs to check. Lift the chicken out to rest for 10 mins. If the beans are a bit soupy, transfer to the hob and simmer for a minute to reduce some of the juices – they should still be nice and wet though.

  4. To serve, cut the legs, thighs and wings from the chicken, then thickly carve or tear off the breast in chunks. Check the beans for seasoning, then stir through the parsley and serve with the chicken.

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Comments, questions and tips

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4th Mar, 2017
Love this recipe! The chicken is really moist and the beans are delicious.
17th Jun, 2016
I make this recipe time after time - stunning
8th May, 2014
I prepared it with chicken breast cut into piecies and cooked in a pan. Though it is not fine cuisine it made a good meal and the butter beans were good. I served it with french beans.
3rd Jan, 2014
***** Five stars - made exactly as recipe and was gorgeous. Everyone loved it and I was surprised how easy it was to spatchcock the chicken. Served with savoy cabbage with mustard and cream.
31st Jul, 2013
that was supposed to be five stars - website not working!
31st Jul, 2013
forgot to rate!
31st Jul, 2013
Yum! My husband hates celery so I substituted for a finely sliced onion, and also added cubed chorizo to the beans as well as pancetta, which was delicious. Have made this over and over.
7th May, 2013
This is lovely. I used cannellini beans as I don't like butter beans. We cooked our chicken on the barbecue and it turned out really nice, so much so that my husband invited his parents over 2 days later and asked me to prepare the chicken for him to barbecue again. Will definitely make again.
15th Oct, 2012
Delicious but I would say the chicken doesn't cook as quickly as the recipe says.
9th Sep, 2012
The smells from the kitchen were topped only by the taste! Took a lot longer to cook than the times suggested but worth the wait.


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