A gorgeous recipe for butter beans with chicken in the oven (Gigantes). The fresh tomatoes and herbs bring the dish to another dimension.
I love beans! They are healthy, nutritious and, more important, they taste great when they are cooked appropriately. The bean soup is considered the “national dish of Greece” and I have already expressed my admiration for it.
Butter beans is a slightly different story. In many countries they are mostly used in salads and I don’t think they get the attention or appreciation they deserve.
One of my favorite dishes in Greek cuisine is the butter beans in the oven (“Gigantes sto fourno”). The butter beans are called “Gigantes” in Greek, which means…gigantic! It makes sense, right?
So, “Gigantes” are traditionally cooked in the oven with fresh tomato, olive oil, onions and fresh dill. Can be eaten hot or cold, with some Feta on the side. The fresh dill makes it a heavenly dish!
As I wanted to make it more like a complete meal (I am part-time bachelor so I like to have left-overs after a busy day at work) I added a few chicken thighs. When cooked together with the rest of the juices, the chicken gets some of the aromas from the herbs and tomatoes.
I am in heaven I tell you! Mouth-melting beans in an oily tomato sauce with juicy chicken. Priceless!
- 300 gr (10 oz) butter beans.
- 4 chicken thighs with the skin on.
- 3-4 ripe and juicy tomatoes.
- 1 bunch of fresh dill.
- 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley.
- ½ cup of tomato passata.
- 2 garlic cloves.
- 2 onions cut in rings.
- 1 cup of extra-virgin olive oil.
- 1 teaspoon of paprika.
- 2 teaspoons of dried oregano.
- Salt and ground pepper.
- Crumbled Feta for topping.
- Add the beans into a large bowl with plenty of water and let them soak overnight.
- Boil the beans in a pot with plenty of water. After 5-10 minutes drain the beans and start boiling them again in fresh water. Let the boil for ~ 40 minutes until they get soft and almost melt in your mouth.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Fry the chicken thighs starting with the side with the skin on. Season with salt and pepper, add the oregano and fry them until they are get a nice brown color.
- Add the tomatoes, garlic, parsley and dill in a blender and create a smooth paste.
- Preheat the oven at 170 degrees Celsius (340 F).
- Use a medium-large tray and spread some olive oil on the bottom. Cover the bottom with the onion rings. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the cooked chicken thighs and the boiled beans. Pour in the rest of the olive oil, the fresh tomato paste, passata and a cup of hot water. Season with salt and pepper and shake the tray so all the juices are spread evenly in the tray.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes until the chicken and beans get a nice brown color. Check the tray from time to time and add some hot water if the juices are reduced and the food is not done yet.
- minutes before you remove it from the oven, top it with crumbled Feta.
- Bon appetit!