Despite Tuscany’s aesthetic splendor, its cuisine is “farmland” basic. Don’t get me wrong, it is delicious but instead of elaborate creations, the typically robust cuisine relies on good, fresh, seasonal ingredients. Bread vegetables and roasted meats serve as the base of most traditional meals and beans feature in many recipes, so much so that Tuscans are often called mangiafagioli or bean eaters.
This recipe is a blend of typical Tuscan flavors with some of my favorite ingredients. Succulent chicken thighs in a creamy sun-dried tomato and parmesan sauce garnished with fresh basil.
The original recipe calls for Sorana beans, a rare variety only found in Sorana in southern Tuscany which I visited a few years ago. They are a small buttery bean with an incredibly thin skin and when cooked all you taste is the smooth creamy interior. In the US the closest you can get to that is a bean from a Sorana heirloom seed called “Marcella” beans available online at Rancho Gordo. Canned Cannellini work just fine for this recipe and you will have an irresistible meal prepped and cooked in 30 minutes. —Derek Farwagi
skinless boneless chicken thighs
salt and pepper to taste
cloves of garlic, minced
red pepper flakes
Finely chopped sun dried tomatoes. (Use the dry kind, not those preserved in oil that might get too soggy when cooked).
freshly grated parmesan cheese
15 oz can cannellini beans
resh basil. coarsely shredded for garnish
In This Recipe
Season chicken thighs generously with all the dried herbs, chilli flakes and salt and pepper.
In a large cast-iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Gently sear chicken thighs until they are slightly golden, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken thighs to a plate.
Return the skillet to medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in chicken broth.
Add cream, parmesan cheese and finely chopped tomatoes and stir for a minute.
Return chicken thighs to the skillet and spoon sauce all over the chicken thighs. Cook chicken until juices run clear - 5 minutes each side.
Drain and rinse the beans and add to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes to heat them up stirring often.