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Thyme butter spatchcock roast chicken with baked brothy butterbeans and toasted hazelnuts

I can't bear mash potato. It's bland, all one texture, and no matter how much seasoning - cheese, mustard, butter... it just never gets exciting. Butterbean mash is 'cool' cause Ottolenghi does it and everything he does is cool but alas, it's the same problem for me... glorified babyfood.

Hence this baked brothy beany casserole concoction. I realise that 'beans' don't bring the same immediate joy that 'potato' brings, but bear with me here. This was completely delicious, and that opinion was shared by mash potato diehards, not just contrary me.

The reason this bean dish was so good;

  1. The insane amount of chicken stock I kept adding

  2. The whole sweet caramelised roasted garlic I squeezed in

  3. The tangy creme fraiche I stirred in right at the end.

It's not just the beans that are the only star of the show (in my eyes maybe), they were served underneath the juiciest perfect buttery herby chicken that I went and bloody spatchcocked - it's very easy, means you can use the bones for great stock AND genuinely I mean genuinely makes the meat juicer, ensure crispier skin and cook quicker!

I served this with some roasted cherry tomatoes which just add a burst of much-needed sweetness and then some salty roasted butternut squash for body and finally some creamy toasted hazelnuts for a bit of texture. YUM!

Serves 4


Roast chicken
  • 1 freerange whole chicken spatchcocked (remove the backbone and press down flat onto a baking tray) I reccomend this youtube video, it's much easier than you think!

  • 1 whole lemon (thinly sliced)

  • 1 whole garlic in its clove

Thyme butter rub
  • 3tbl butter softnened slightly in the microwave

  • LOADS (like half a packet) of fresh thyme

  • 1tbl dried thyme

  • 1tbl dried oregano

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 lemon (zest & juice)

  • 2tbl olive oil

  • 1/2 butternut squash

  • 3 stems of vine tomatoes (vines left on)

  • A handful of a fresh woody herb - rosemary or thyme

  • 2 tbl olive oil

  • 1 small bowl of hazelnuts

  • Salt & pepper

  • 1 tin cannelloni beans (drained)

  • 1 tin butterbeans (drained)

  • 3/4 knobs of butter

  • Chicken stock (homemade or shop-bought)

  • 2/3 bay leaves

  • 1tbl creme fraiche or greek yoghurt

  • 1 whole roasted garlic (this was roasted with your chicken)


Chicken, thyme butter rub & chicken stock
  • Preheat your oven to 180

  • Ensure chicken is out of fridge and at room temp

  • Spatchcock your chicken (use the youtube for guidance)

  • On the hob put the removed bone into a saucepan with water and bring to a boil, leave to simmer, and throw in any old veg you have lying around - I added fennel. Then add any woody herbs like bay leaves and thyme and trimmings of any veg skins you may have e.g. the butternut squash!

  • Create your thyme butter rub by mixing all ingredients in a bowl

  • Add your chicken, sliced lemons and garlic to a large roasting tray

  • Rub the chicken with the butter, make sure you really get it into every crevice

  • Put the chicken in the oven and set a timer for 45minutes, this will depend on the size of your bird so please do adjust for a smaller chicken

Baked brothy butterbeans
  • I would get these in the oven when your chicken has about 10 minutes left

  • Get a small deep casserole dish ready

  • Add your drained beans

  • Add the butter and bay leaves

  • Add your homemade chicken stock, there should be enough chicken stock to reach the top of the beans and just about cover them

  • Bake in the oven for 30mins

  • Once baked remove from the oven, add any resting juices from the chicken (once cooked) and squeeze in the roasted garlic (roasted in with the chicken)

  • Stir in the creme fraiche or yoghurt and season well!

Butternut squash & roasted tomatoes
  • I would add these to the oven at the same time as your beans (chicken has around 10 minutes left)

  • Add your sliced butternut and vine tomatoes to a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil

  • Season and add your herbs (I used rosemary) but you could have dried thyme/ oregano etc.

  • Roast in oven for 30minutes

Finale/ bringing it together
  • Roast your hazelnuts in the oven for 5-6 minutes until golden

  • Remove from oven and roughly chop

  • Bring together your dish, fill your bowl with the brothy beans, lay on top your juicy carved chicken and your roasted veg, finish with the jammy roasted lemon slices (cooked with your chicken) and the toasted hazelenuts

  • Finish with more fresh thyme and lots of black pepper!

  • I turned the leftover beans into a WFH soup by adding more chicken broth and more creme fraiche!

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