Roasted Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes

Chicken juices baste the beans as this one-dish dinner roasts, resulting in layers of rich flavor.

Roasted Chicken with White Beans and Tomatoes
Yields: 8-10 servings
  • 1 pound dried white cannellini beans, sorted and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, finely chopped and divided
  • 3 teaspoons dried thyme leaves, divided
  • 6½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (5½-pound) whole roasting chicken, giblets discarded
  • 1 cup chopped leek
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 quart unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 heads garlic, tops removed
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • Crusty bread, to serve
  • Garnish: fresh sage leaves
  1. In a large bowl, combine beans and water to cover by 2 inches. Cover and let stand for 6 hours to overnight.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon sage, 1 tablespoon rosemary, and 2 teaspoons thyme; set aside. In another small bowl, stir together 4 teaspoons salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. Pat chicken dry. Gently loosen skin from chicken, keeping skin intact. Rub oil mixture under skin and all over chicken. Sprinkle salt mixture all over. chicken, inside large cavity, and under skin. Tie legs with kitchen twine. Refrigerate, uncovered, overnight on a wire rack placed in a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. Drain beans. Let chicken stand at room temperature for 1 hour; pat dry.
  5. Meanwhile, in a 14-inch enamel-coated cast-iron braiser, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add leek and minced garlic; cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in drained beans, broth, bay leaf, remaining 1 teaspoon sage, remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme; bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 1 hour, adding hot water as needed to keep beans covered by a ½ inch. Adjust heat as needed to keep beans at a simmer.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°.
  7. Remove pot from heat. Carefully place chicken, breast side up, on top of bean mixture and add garlic heads, cut side up.
  8. Bake, uncovered, for 55 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure beans are covered by a ½ inch; add hot water as needed to keep beans submerged. Increase heat to broil; cook until beans are tender and a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest portion of chicken thigh registers 165°, 10 to 15 minutes more. Carefully transfer chicken to a serving platter. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  9. To bean mixture in pot, stir in tomatoes, vinegar, and remaining 2½ teaspoons salt; spoon around chicken on platter. Garnish with sage, if desired. Serve with crusty bread.
Recipe for success: This recipe may seem involved, but steps 1 through 3 can all be quickly completed the night before. Starting the beans on the stovetop kicks off the cooking process while cooking them in the oven with the chicken causes them to soak up all of the flavors of the drippings creating beautifully stewed, deeply flavored beans.