One-Pot Chicken with Beans & Vegetables

An easy weeknight supper recipe, served straight from the pot on the table. A healthy stew, packed with cooked beans and root vegetables. Lighter than many stews so a great choice during a winter-to-spring 'transition'.

One-Pot Chicken with Beans and Vegetables


TESTIMONIALS
"The chicken with white beans was delicious." ~ Joan


A decade ago, my food life was forever changed – for the better – by one simple recipe.

St. Louis food writer Ann Lemons wrote a piece for the local paper’s Sunday magazine. She roughed out the concept for making a simple vinaigrette, a rub of garlic, a dollop of mustard, a scratch of good salt, a splash of vinegar and a glug of olive oil. Sound familiar? It’s My Favorite Salad Dressing. I make it nearly every day, some times twice a day, right in the salad bowl. It’s that simple.

Ever since, I never buy salad dressing. It’s too expensive, too filled with calories, too packed with chemical-sounding ingredients. I’ve even challenged others to Never Buy Salad Dressing Again!

So – um – why does this easy chicken recipe call for a commercial salad dressing, the ubiquitous Italian dressing?

Well – um, you see – stuff happens. My dad left a bottle in my fridge and ever the thrifty cook, I wanted it to use it up. Ha. I’ve been ruined. Thanks to this recipe, I foresee keeping a bottle on hand. For. Ever. For. Always.

This chicken is so good – the perfect dinner recipe for a harried cook pulled in 360 directions by kids, work and other responsibilities. The beans and vegetables simmer in an almost lemony sauce, even as the chicken absorbs moisture from below. There’s no getting enough!

UPDATE: One thing leads to another and there are several recipes calling for Italian dressing. I always use the low-fat or fat-free dressing.

ALANNA’s TIPS For this recipe, I recommend using bone-in chicken which remains moist and tender during cooking. Boneless chicken pieces, especially boneless breasts, dry out and get tough. To my taste, the preferred cooking method is in the oven. The chicken stays moist and the vegetables cook just enough. To reduce calories, we’ve all been taught to remove chicken skins. But there’s so much flavor in chicken skin! My compromise is to remove the skins and to discard all but one, then to cook it in the skillet along with the chicken pieces. In this way, some of that rich chicken flavor is cooked in, but without so many calories. The softer texture of white beans is important to this dish. Substituting the more mealy kidney beans, say, is not recommended. (Who'd think?)

ONE POT MEALS:
ONE-POT CHICKEN with BEANS & VEGETABLES

Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 90 minutes (oven) to 6 hours (slow cooker)
Serves 8 (but easily halved)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 pieces chicken, preferably bone-in (see TIPS)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 carrots, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Other vegetables, optional (in the photo, I add asparagus spears)
    SAUCE
  • 2/3 cup low-fat Italian dressing (use 1 cup for the slow cooker, non-fat and full-fat dressings work fine too)
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary (don’t skip), crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (don't skip)

If cooking in the oven (see TIPS), preheat oven to 350F.

(This first step of cooking the chicken can be skipped, see Later Notes.) In a large skillet, heat the oil on medium high till shimmery. Rinse the chicken pieces under running water. (Optional: Remove the skins from the chicken pieces, discarding all but one. Add the one piece to the skillet. See TIPS.) Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Add the chicken pieces to the skillet in a single layer, the fleshier side down. Season and cook without moving for about 5 minutes, turn over and repeat.

Meanwhile, combine the beans, carrots, celery and turnip in a large casserole dish or a slow cooker. Place the cooked chicken on top, nesting slightly into the vegetables.

Stir together the sauce ingredients and pour over top.

OVEN (see TIPS) Cover and bake for 1 hour. Serve tableside. Leftovers reheat beautifully.

SLOW COOKER Cover and cook on Low for about 5 hours. For best texture, add the turnips for only the last two hours.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE Per Serving, Made with 1 T Oil & 1 Chicken Skin : 317 Calories; 8g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 95mg Cholesterol; 485mg Sodium; 27g Carb; 7g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 30g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 6, PointsPlus 7
Per Serving, Made with 0 T Oil & No Chicken Skin: 288 Calories; 5g Tot Fat; 1g Sat Fat; 95mg Cholesterol; 485mg Sodium; 27g Carb; 7g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 31g Protein; Weight Watchers Old Points 5, PointsPlus 7
Adapted from a Taste of Home seasonal cookbook

LATER NOTES
Such good news! After making Rainbow Chicken, another chicken 'n' vegetables one-pot supper, I wondered if here, too, we might skip the first step of cooking the chicken. We can! And with no impact on how very (very!) delicious the chicken turns out. Yay! Plus there's a saving in calories too, since we don't need oil to cook the chicken. Double Yay! I do recommend putting the chicken in first, with the vegetables on top, to put it closer to the heat source.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. In 2009, Kitchen Parade celebrates its 50th anniversary with a special collection of my mother's recipes. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. "Like" Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

Make it a Menu

One-Pot Chicken with Beans & Vegetables (above)
Oven-Baked Brown Rice
Light 'n' Easy Chocolate Pudding

More Easy Chicken Recipes

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
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Thank you for your recipes. The Chicken w/white beans was delicious.
 
I am making the one-pot chicken with beans and vegetables again tomorrow. The leftovers make a terrific soup: I remove all the beans and veggies from the dish with a slotted spoon and chop up the chicken. Mix with chicken broth and let sit overnight in the fridge for all the flavors to meld, then heat and top with Parmesan cheese. Makes a great (and easy) lunch.
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna