A complete meal in a pot — this supremely succulent stew, a combination of chicken and creamy cannellini beans in a rich red wine and tomato sauce, is topped with a Parmesan crumble. Easy to assemble and able to be prepared in advance, it can be kept in the fridge for up to two days before reheating. A great recipe to have in your repertoire. A green salad is the only accompaniment needed.

¼ cup flour

1kg skinless, boneless chicken thighs

(approximately 10), trimmed of excess fat

cooking oil spray

1 large onion, thinly sliced

400g red capsicums (2 large), deseeded and

thinly sliced lengthways

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 x 400g can diced tomatoes in juice

¼ cup tomato paste

¾ cup red wine

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

(or 1½ cups cooked dried beans)

½ cup breadcrumbs

30g Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Place the flour in a plastic bag, add the chicken pieces two at a time and shake to coat the  chicken evenly. Shake off any excess.

Heat a large non-stick frypan, spray lightly with the cooking oil and fry the chicken in batches until lightly brown. Place the chicken pieces in a flattish, ovenproof dish, 18cm x 30cm works well.

Spray the frypan lightly with the oil spray and add the onion and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes. Add the red capsicum and garlic and stir-fry for another 2–3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, thyme, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar to the frypan, stir well and simmer for 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the sauce over the chicken. (The chicken can be refrigerated at this stage for up to 2 days.)

Gently stir the cannellini beans into the sauce surrounding the chicken. Cover the casserole dish with a lid or foil and lace into the preheated oven for 50 minutes. If reheating chicken from the refrigerator, bring to room temperature and allow an extra 15 minutes.

Increase the oven temperature to 200°C.

Combine the breadcrumbs and the Parmesan cheese, remove the lid or foil and sprinkle the cheese mixture over the top. Return to the oven for 10 minutes until the topping is golden.

Serves 8

This recipe is published in A Southern Woman’s Kitchen by Joan Bishop (Longacre) and is published with kind permission.

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