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Chicken with White Beans & Tomatoes

By 2:36 PM , , , , ,

Over a year ago, the Little One and I spent a week with my parents while the Husband was traveling on business.  One evening my Mama made this beautifully rustic and simple dish.  I finally got around this week to making this recipe from Real Simple and boy am I glad I did.

This is one of my new favorite fall/winter weeknight meals. The thyme imparts an aromatic woodsiness that is amazing with the sweet juiciness of the roasted tomatoes and garlic. Some of the beans get a little toasted and crunchy while some remain tender.

This dish smells and tastes like it has been cooking all day - but thankfully, it comes together so quickly and is very easy to make.

A few notes:
- I halved the recipe, but used 3 large garlic cloves and the same amount of crushed red pepper flakes as the full recipe called for. So if making this as written, I would suggest you automatically increase the amount of garlic cloves to 3 or 4.
- While I had fresh thyme, I only had dried oregano. So I used a couple of small pinches and that worked just fine.
- I used boneless chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. If doing the same, sear the chicken on each side to get some nice browning and then place the seared chicken on the bean and tomato mixture.
- Be sure to salt and pepper the chicken well! This is the key to flavorful chicken.
- I did use a nice dry chardonnay as the bonus tip recommends and it definitely could be tasted in the background (so be sure to use a good wine - if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it!).

Chicken with White Beans & Tomatoes

2 15.5-ounce 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
2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt and black pepper
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 3 pounds total)

Heat oven to 425° F. In a 9-by-13-inch (or some other large) 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.

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

Roast until the chicken is golden and cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes. Sprinkle with the oregano leaves.

*For even richer flavor, add 1⁄2 cup dry white wine to the bean and tomato mixture before cooking. Serve the dish with country bread to soak up the delicious sauce.

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