Chicken and bean casserole

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Prep time:

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Serves: 8

By zinaida



  • 1 stock cube (chicken for preference, but veg would do)

  • 1 large onion chopped

  • 800g chopped tomato

  • 1/2 red pepper chopped

  • 1 courgette peeled and grated

  • 100g bacon chopped or lardons

  • 8 chicken drumstick (if you're feeling generous, one large jointed chicken)

  • 1 leek chopped

  • 100g mushroom chopped

  • 2 sticks celery chopped

  • 1 tbsp dried herbes de provence or small handful fresh thyme/rosemary/sage

  • 400g tin cannellini beans

  • 100g pearl barley

  • 2 cloves garlic crushed

  • 1 carrot peeled and grated

  • 400g tinned borlotti beans

  • 250ml Worcestershire sauce


  1. Gently heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish, and fry the onions, celery, leek and garlic for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the bacon or lardons.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190C.
  3. Prepare the pearl barley by putting it in a small saucepan, covered with cold water, and bring to the boil. Drain in a colander and rinse the grains. Set aside.
  4. Add the grated carrot and courgette, herbs, red pepper and mushrooms to the casserole and fry for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tinned tomatoes, drained borlotti beans and drained cannellini beans. Stir, then add the pearl barley, plus stock cube dissolved in about 200ml boiling water, and the glass of wine. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Arrange the chicken pieces half-submerged on top, and cover with a close-fitting lid and bung in the oven for about 1.5 hours. 30 minutes before the end of cooking take the lid off, which browns the top of the chicken pieces nicely.

Handy Hint

It would be cheaper to buy dried beans and prepare them yourself but I didn't do this and can't remember what the rules are for cannellini and borlotti!

I always buy values bacon marked 'cooking bacon' as it tastes just as good and it doesn't matter that it is sometimes in big lumps, as you're going to be chopping it anyway.

If you're feeling decadent you can throw in some dumplings too, but you'll probably need more liquid, maybe an extra tin of tomatoes.

Additional Information

  • Can Freeze

  • Make Ahead

  • Budget

  • Chicken

  • Main Course

  • Gluten Free

  • Dairy Free

  • Nut Free

  • Egg Free

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Your comments

  • zinaida 30/01/12 12:56

    This is a great budget recipe for when you want to have a treat meal - maybe when guests are coming over - but can't stretch to e.g. a roast. The amount of pulses and veg really pads out the small amount of chicken (especially if you serve it with mashed potatoes and broccoli or kale or something), it is delicious, you get all the hard work done well in advance, and it's full of nutrition! If you want to make it stretch even further you can use a smaller amount of chicken, but chop it up so that everyone gets a smaller bit, rather than a whole drumstick/thigh each. You can also leave out the glass of wine without losing out much on flavour.