Quick & Easy & Holiday Hearty: Real Simple’s Chicken with White Bean and Tomatoes

     So many chores, so little time.  The house is still not decorated, and I have not baked one Christmas goodie.  How do people manage to have Christmast parties this time of year?  Either they have some secret that I have yet to learn or they have elves in the house. 

     With all the running around getting ready for the holidays, cooking a warm and wonderful dinner for the family usually goes to the bottom of the list.  Here is one recipe, though, that will convince your family that you must have everything under control if you can turn out something so fabulous on a weeknight.

     I found Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes in last January’s edition of Real Simple.  As the name says, this one is “real simple.”  No slicing and dicing required.  It mixes together in just a few minutes, and your house smells delicious as it cooks.

  • 2 (15.5 oz.) cans cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano, plus leaves for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 lbs. total) or boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1.5 lbs.)

Heat oven to 425° F.

In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, toss the beans and tomatoes with the thyme and oregano sprigs, garlic, red pepper, 1 tablespoon of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.  For even richer flavor, add 1⁄2 cup dry white wine to the bean and tomato mixture before cooking.

Pat the chicken dry and place on top of the bean mixture, skin-side up.  Brush with the remaining tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.

Roast until the chicken is cooked through (35 to 45 mins. for bone-in and 25-30 mins. for boneless).  Sprinkle with the oregano leaves.  Serve with rustic bread to soak up the sauce.

     To round out the recipe, spoon each serving into a shallow bowl over a bed of fresh washed and dried spinach.  Now you’ve got a festive red, white and green holiday dinner, plus a little extra time to get those presents wrapped.  Give it a try, and your family will be reminded how much you love them even when you aren’t so holly jolly.

Photos by Avad Fan.

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