Italian chicken with ham, basil & beans

Italian chicken with ham, basil & beans

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(33 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins


Serves 4

A great recipe for the end of the summer, using sweet roasted tomatoes and garlic. Serve with the best crusty bread you can get you hands on

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal455
  • fat16g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs22g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre6g
  • protein55g
  • salt1.79g
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  • 8 skinless chicken thighs, bone in
  • 8 slices prosciutto or other dry-cured ham



    Prosciutto is a sweet, delicate ham intended to be eaten raw. The word 'prosciutto' is…

  • 2 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…

  • 2 whole heads garlic



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…

  • 800g tomatoes (a mix of smaller yellow and red tomatoes looks good)



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 175ml dry white wine
  • 400g can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
    Cannellini bean

    Cannellini bean

    can-a-leen-ee been

    Slightly kidney-shaped with squarish ends, cannellini beans are from Italy and are creamy white…

  • large bunch basil



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…


  1. Season the chicken thighs all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pinch off 8 sprigs from the basil (about 3 leaves each per sprig) and lay one on top of each chicken thigh. Wrap each thigh in a piece of ham, with the ends tucked underneath.

  2. Heat oven to 160C/fan 140C/gas 3. Heat the oil in a large roasting tin over two of the burners on the hob. Add the chicken and fry for about 4 mins or until the ham is just crisped and the chicken is lightly golden. Turn and repeat.

  3. Meanwhile, cut the garlic bulbs in half around the middle and halve the tomatoes if small, quarter them if they’re big. Pick the leaves from the rest of the basil. Once the chicken has browned on both sides, add all of the tomatoes, half of the basil and the wine. Season then cover with foil and leave to cook slowly in the oven for 40 mins.

  4. Take out of the oven and turn the heat up to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Remove the foil from the pan and stir the beans into the tomatoey juices. Return to the oven, uncovered, for 30 mins until the tomatoes, chicken and garlic are starting to crisp around the edges and the chicken is very tender. Just before serving, tear the remaining basil roughly then stir through or scatter over the pan.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th May, 2017
I'm really not sure about this recipe. I found the 'sauce ' really runny and quite watery in spite of using a nice wine. Also not keen on the ham, I felt the pancetta would have been better. Not keen to do this again.
25th Aug, 2013
Used pancetta and substituted half of the tomatoes with a tin of cherry tomatoes.
2nd Dec, 2012
I made this as part of my menu for an Italian themed dinner party. I was unable to get a variety of tomatoes so substituted some with some red, yellow and orange sweet peppers. It was absolutely delicious and a dish that I will certainly cook again.
17th Oct, 2012
Really good Saturday-Sunday lunch recipe. I prepared thighs earlier in the morning and once all was in the oven I was free to go and socialise with guests. I used less tomatoes and 2 cans of beans as family is not that keen on roasted tomatoes.
11th Aug, 2012
Delicious and easy recipe and enjoyed by all the family. Will definitely be making this again soon!
14th Jun, 2012
Amazing despite how simple it was to make, and healthy to boot. Served this for a dinner party with the Mediterranean Sardine Salad and got lots of compliments. Leftovers even better the next day, just added a side salad dressed in balsamic. I didn't have a hob-proof roasting tin, so did this instead (also healthier I suppose): brush tin lightly with olive oil, put prepared chicken thighs in then brushed them lightly with oil (total less than 1 tsp oil). Put in preheated 210C fan oven for 10 min to crisp up, then turn oven down to 140C fan, add tomatoes etc. and continue as per recipe.
12th Dec, 2011
Well, it looked very impressive but I didn't have fresh basil at hand, so had to use French basil sauce (pretty much like pesto). Maybe that's the reason why the dish turned out quite heavy and strong-flavoured. Will try to make it again, this time with fresh spice and hopefully it will taste better!
24th Nov, 2011
MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm delicious!
11th Nov, 2011
I love this recipe. Perfect dinner party food - guests can just help themselves. I used skinless chicken legs for this recipe instead of thighs - but worked very well. The beans, tomatoes, garlic, red wine and basil are wonderful flavours together. I served with crusty bread and some baby potatoes fried in low fat spray and garlic.
3rd Nov, 2011
This is delicious and dead easy! One question, how much of this could I do in advance? The whole recipe and then re-heat?


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16th Sep, 2018
Very tasty but I cooked for shorter periods as pancetta was burning. The beans soaked up all the tomato juice so next time I would either also use a tin of tomatoes as well (for extra liquid) or some chicken stock. We ate with some new potatoes and sprouting broccoli. A welcome change.
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