Chicken cacciatore with white bean mash
Warming and comforting, this classic Italian chicken casserole gets extra flavour from wild mushrooms and chianti.
- 4 chicken legs (alternatively use thighs or drumsticks)
- 15g/½oz plain flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 70g/2½oz pancetta, diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 200g/7oz mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
- 200ml/7fl oz red wine, preferably chianti
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 400–500ml/16–18fl oz fresh chicken stock
- 2 dried chillies
- 1 tbsp baby capers
- 100g/3½oz black olives, pitted
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
For the white bean mash
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest only
- 2 x 400g tins butter, cannellini or haricot beans, drained and rinsed
- extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
For the garlic green beans
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof casserole over a medium heat and colour the chicken on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add the pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and rosemary to the pan and gently fry, allowing the veg to soften in the fat released from the pancetta. Add the mushrooms and fry for 5 minutes, or until brown and softened.
Pour in the wine and simmer until it has reduced by two-thirds. Add the tomato purée and stock, then return the chicken to the pan along with the dried chillies, capers and olives. Season and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and bake for 45–50 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the lid for last 10 minutes if the liquid is too saucy.
Meanwhile, to make the white bean mash, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the garlic, rosemary and lemon zest and cook for 2–3 minutes. Remove the rosemary and place to one side. Add the beans to the pan and warm through, stirring and squishing using a wide, flat spoon so they become a bumpy mash. Season, garnish with the saved rosemary and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
To make the green beans, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the beans for 3 minutes. Drain and dry. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and add the garlic. Tip in the beans and toss with salt and a pinch of chilli flakes.
Serve the chicken in its sauce, scattered with parsley, alongside the bean mash and garlic green beans.