This recipe uses boneless, skin-on chicken breasts. If your grocery store has a butcher, you can ask them to debone the split chicken breasts for you. Sometimes they'll do it, sometimes they won't, but it's worth a try! Although the bones do impart more flavor, this method cuts down on the cook time pretty drastically.
Serves: 2, with leftover salad
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 40 minutes
1 small fennel bulb
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 14.5-ounce can navy or cannellini beans
4 ounces diced pancetta
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup fresh parsley
8 ounces French green beans
4 French breakfast radishes (or regular red radishes)
Salt and pepper to taste
Shaved ricotta salata, optional, for serving
2 boneless, skin-on chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
Prepare Ingredients: Preheat oven to 425ºF. Discard the core from the fennel bulb and thinly slice the bulb. Thinly slice 2 fennel stalks and discard the remaining. Juice the orange and zest 1 teaspoon of the rind for garnish. Thinly slice the onion. Drain and rinse the beans. Mince the parsley. Trim the radishes and thinly slice them lengthwise. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.
Prepare the Fennel: In a small bowl, add the orange juice, rice vinegar, and sugar. Add the sliced fennel and toss to coat. Season with a bit of salt.
Cook the Pancetta: Add the diced pancetta to a large cold skillet and turn on the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring regularly, until all the fat has rendered and the pancetta is very crispy, about 7-8 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the skillet and set aside.
Blanch the Green Beans: Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat. Once boiling, add the green beans and boil for 2-3 minutes or until bright green. Drain and rinse under very cold water.
Prepare the Salad: Turn the skillet with the pancetta fat up to medium high and add the sliced onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until softened and translucent. Add the beans and minced parsley and cook for 2 minutes. Add the fennel and all of the juice in the bowl to the skillet with the beans and stir to incorporate everything. Cook over medium low, stirring regularly, for 10-12 minutes or until the fennel begins to soften. Stir in the green beans and cook for 1 minute to rewarm them. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Cook the Chicken Breasts: While the salad is cooking, heat a slick of oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium high. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the skin is well browned and crispy. Flip and transfer to the oven and cook for an additional 10-12 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165ºF in the thickest part. Transfer to a cutting board and cut on an angle into three pieces.
Toss the warm salad with the radishes and stir in half of the pancetta. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle the rest of the pancetta on top. Sprinkle the reserved orange zest on top.
To Serve: Divide the salad between bowls and top with ricotta salata if using. Arrange the sliced chicken breast on top. Enjoy!
Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!