All of my recent food magazines have highlighted that broad beans are in season at the moment. Tasty, healthy and they go with anything, I was keen to eat seasonally and cook a dish for my Sunday supper which included them. Broad beans are rich in fibre and vitamins B and C boosting the nervous system, skin health and the body’s ability to absorb iron. Oddly for me, the recipe which jumped out at me yesterday whilst enjoying a cup of tea and reading this month’s delicious magazine was Warm Fennel & Beans with Griddled Chicken and Tarragon Butter Dressing. This is an odd recipe choice for me……you all are aware that I dont really like chicken, and I must admit, tarragon is not my favourite herb. I often find the aniseed taste too overpowering and would always chose a softer, basil, marjoram or thyme as a herb to go with chicken. Needless to say, as my gluten-free health kick continues I decided to give this a try and I am so pleased that I did – chicken and broad beans are both high-value protein foods and very nutritious. Any salad with fennel makes me happy and the accompanying broad beans and green beans kept it fresh and crunchy, the tarragon dressing on the chicken – a classic french pairing, provided a sharp, buttery sauce for the dish, bringing together the charred, moist chicken and the salad nicely.
Olive Oil – i used rapeseed oil as this has less saturated fat than olive oil and is rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9 aswell as being rich in vitamin E (a good antioxidant)
4 Chicken Breasts
150g Green Beans
400g Shelled Broad Beans
70g Butter (to keep my dressing lighter i only used 35g)
Juice of 1 lemon
A bunch of fresh tarragon – finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 fennel bulb – very finely sliced
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.
Rub the chicken breasts with some oil and season to taste. Pop on the griddle for 3-4 minutes until charred, turn and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan, place in a roasting tray and put into the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile boil the green beans and broad beans for 3-4 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.
Melt the butter in a pan, once melted, take off the heat and scatter in the tarragon, garlic, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well and leave to one side.
Toss the beans and fennel together and pour over half of the tarragon dressing.
Remove the chicken from the oven, this should be gently charred but still very moist.
Plate alongside the salad which should be bright, crunchy and glossy with the butter dressing and drizzle over the remaining tarragon dressing adding an extra sauciness to the chicken.