Herby lemon chicken with Tuscan beans
- Preparation and cooking time
- More effort
- Serves 4 - 6
Try this summer alternative to a traditional Sunday roast, best enjoyed al fresco
For the beans
- STEP 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.
- STEP 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.
- STEP 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.
- STEP 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.
COOK IT ON THE BARBECUE
Heat the barbecue and cook the chicken for 20-25 mins on each side until golden, crisp and cooked through. If your BBQ has a lid, pull it down. If it doesn’t, then upturn a large roasting tin or baking dish over the chicken while it cooks. Meanwhile, cook the beans in the oven as in the recipe, stirring in a splash more stock towards the end if they look at all dry, and adding in any resting juices from the chicken before serving.