Crispy Chicken Thighs Over Vinegar Beans

I love this recipe for a quick and straightforward dinner

This dish feels very French to me, for no particular reason, I suppose, other than that it’s brothy and rather beige. While those descriptors may not be for everyone, to me, brothy and beige is beautiful.

Chicken thighs are my favourite part of the chicken, and here they are well-seasoned and fried until the skin renders and is juicy and crisp. The thighs are then set aside while onions, wine, butter beans, citrus and olives are quickly introduced to each other in the same hot pan. Then the chicken is returned before everything gets placed in the oven so that the chicken cooks through while the other flavours deepen and catch all the chicken juices. Simple, but so good. Mais oui! 


  • 6 bone-in chicken thighs or 3 legs, separated
  • Salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1 red bird’s eye chili, split
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 cans (14 ounces) butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup large green olives
  • Pinch of granulated sugar (optional)
  • 1 whole lemon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Pat the chicken dry and season all over with salt and pepper. In a deep ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the chicken, skin side down. Sear until the skin is crispy and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean plate. Pour all but about 2 tablespoons of the rendered chicken fat and oil into a small bowl and reserve it for future use.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion to the skillet, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to prevent browning. Add the garlic and chili and cook for 1 minute. Increase the heat to high. Add the white wine and let it reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the vinegar, beans, stock, olives, and sugar (if using). Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peel of the lemon in large strips. Add the peel to the skillet.
  4. Return the chicken, skin side up, to the skillet and transfer it to the oven. Bake, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through or reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove from the oven and squeeze the lemon overtop. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Excerpted from A Generous Meal by Christine Flynn. Copyright © 2023 Christine Flynn. Photographs by Suech and Beck. Published by Penguin, an imprint of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.