Pan fried chicken breast on a bed of buttery leek, bacon and cannellini beans. A quick and easy to prepare mid-week meal.
Pan fried chicken breast with leek, bacon and beans is a great mid week dinner dish. This recipe is simply one of those recipes that’s been mulling around in my head that I needed to get down on paper. It’s a dish that I make quite often, but vary depending on what I have in the fridge and my store cupboard at any given point in time.
It’s an easy dish to prepare, consisting of pan fried chicken on a bed of buttery leeks, smoked bacon and cannellini beans. This tasty dish is packed full of flavour making it ideal for the mid week rush!
What to cook for dinner?
Michelle and I have a never-ending dialogue about food. However. there remains one question which even the most dedicated foodies amongst us really don’t want to consider. Mid week, busy day and you ask your family “what do you want for dinner tonight?”
Some typical responses from my family include: I don’t know”; “I don’t mind”; “I’m happy with anything”, that is until you suggest something they don’t want. Meanwhile let’s not forget my all time favourite response “What do you want?”
Similarly, up and down the country there are other equally fraught parents desperate for an answer that might actually contains a meal suggestion! After all we all have days when we just want someone else to make the decision!
It was whilst having this type of day that I first came up with this dish. I had taken chicken out of the freezer to cook for dinner, and just needed to find something to go with it. Something we would all eat. So for an alternative chicken dinner tonight its pan-fried chicken with smoked bacon & beans.
The bacon, bean and leek stew is hearty and filling. Therefore, I would keep it simple and serve this dish with some steamed vegetables on the side. Carrots; green beans; broccoli; peas or cauliflower would all work with this chicken dish. Cook something you know your family will enjoy eating.
Flavor variations & substitutions
- Chicken: I have used chicken breasts to accompany the bacon and bean stew. However, you could serve this with chicken legs or thighs. If you don’t fancy chicken then serve with a pork chop instead, the pork will work really well with the bacon, leek and beans.
- Leek and garlic: The beans have been flavoured with leek and garlic, however you could substitute the leek with onions or shallots if that is all you have to hand. If you don’t like garlic then simply leave it out of the dish.
- Herbs: This recipe uses thyme and parsley which both compliment the other ingredients beautifully and add a herby freshness to the sauce. If you don’t like herbs then leave them out or add in a herb that you do like to eat.
- Beans: I have used tinned cannellini beans, but you can use dried if you would prefer. Simply soak the dried beans overnight and boil in water the following day until they have softened, before draining and adding to this dish.
- If you don’t have cannellini beans you can substitute with another bean like haricot or butter beans.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
The joy of this pan fried chicken with bacon and bean is having it cooked fresh and served. However, that is not to say that you can’t make the various elements earlier in the day and heat it up when you are ready to eat.
I would recommending adding a little more stock to the bacon, beans and vegetables before you serve it. The beans will soak up any juices if left to sit for a couple of hours, so by adding a little stock back into the mix you stop the bean and vegetable mix becoming too dry.
Likewise, the chicken. Pop the chicken into a pan skin side down and heat up the skin without burning it. Next turn it over and add a little stock to the pan, not enough to cover the chicken, just a small amount to heat the chicken up in.
Can I freeze leftovers?
The bacon and bean mixture and any leftover cooked chicken can all be frozen. Simply, allow everything to cool completely before placing in a suitable container and popping in the freezer. It will store for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, remove freezer and allow to defrost thoroughly. I recommend adding a little stock when heating the dish up, this will avoid the dish becoming too dry.
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Additional recipe suggestions
For other quick mid week dinners try my:
- Easy Butter Bean Stew with Smoked Sausage
- Creamy Tarragon Chicken with Asparagus
- Italian Chicken with Ham & Parmesan
- Chorizo & Bean Stew with Roast Chicken
- Chicken Pilaf
- Pork & Peanut Stirfry
- Cajun Chicken & Vegetable Traybake
- Lemon & Paprika Chicken Kebabs
- Steak with a Warm Spice Marinade
Looking for inspiration for feeding the family mid week, then take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners. Full of useful hints, tips and recipes.
pan-fried chicken with smoked bacon & beans
- 4 tbsp sunflower oil
- 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon (thin sliced and finely cut)
- 2 leeks (finely sliced)
- 3 cloves garlic (finely sliced)
- 200 ml white wine
- 2 x 400g cannellini beans (drained)
- 200 ml chicken stock
- small bunch thyme (leaves only)
- small bunch parsley (leaves only and chopped)
- 4 chicken breasts
- 50 g butter
- salt & pepper
- 300 ml single cream
- Place 2tbsp sunflower oil in a large frying pan and bring to a medium heat. Add the bacon to the pan and fry until lightly coloured. Add the leek and garlic and continue to saute for 2 minutes until the leek has softened but not coloured.
- Add the white wine to the pan and cook out the alcohol for a minute or so. Then add the beans, chicken stock and thyme and simmer gently for 15 minutes until the bean mixture has started to thicken.
- Meanwhile add the remaining 2tbsp of sunflower oil and the butter to another frying pan and bring to a medium heat. Season the chicken breasts and place in the pan, saute gently for approximately 20 minutes, turning occassionaly to ensure even colour and that the chicken is cooked through. Once cooked set aside to rest.
- Once the beans have thickened check for seasoning and add the single cream and season with salt & pepper to taste. The amount of salt required will depend on the saltiness of the bacon used.
- Serve the rested chicken on top of the smoked bacon and beans alongside some green beans or green salad.
• Please note that the nutrition information provided above is approximate and meant as a guideline only •Share on Facebook