God save the bean

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These two recipes are firm favourites around here, especially on weeknights as they’re super quick and easy. Although I love to cook up a big batch of dried beans, occasionally I have neither the time nor inclination. Canned beans are a convenient life saver and are put to excellent use in this zesty bean salad, served with succulent pan-fried chicken tenders!
Reserve the specified portion of undressed bean salad and cooked chicken tenderloins, as planned-overs (see the orange diamonds within the recipe); and you can create delicioso Tortillas with shredded chicken and beans another day. Yummo!

Bean salad with chicken tenders

[Recipe 1] Pan-fried chicken tenders with zesty bean salad

Ingredients (serves 4 for 2 meals):
2 x 400g (15 oz)
 cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained
2 x 400g (15 oz) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained, rinsed
1 small salad (or white) onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves, plus extra to serve
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stick celery, halved lengthwise, finely sliced
½ red capsicum (bell pepper), very finely chopped
1¼ kilos (2½ lb) chicken tenderloins (about 18 pieces)
60g (2 oz) goat’s cheese crumbled, to serve
Lemon dressing:
2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
2 tablespoons (30ml) lemon juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed

Make lemon dressing by whisking olive oil, lemon juice, brown sugar and garlic. Set aside.
Combine beans, onion, coriander, salt and pepper.
Reserve 500g (1 lb/3 cups) of this undressed bean mixture for the tortillas with shredded chicken and beans.
To the remaining bean mixture (for tonight’s salad), add prepared lemon dressing, celery and capsicum. Gently toss to combine.
Pan-fry or chargrill (charbroil) chicken, in batches, until golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes each side.
Reserve 8 cooked chicken tenderloins (about 420–480g/just under 1 lb) for the tortillas with shredded chicken and beans.
Pile tonight’s bean salad and chicken tenderloins onto plates. Serve, scattered with goat’s cheese and extra coriander.

  • Planned-overs (undressed bean salad and cooked, chopped, chicken tenderloins) can be placed together in a labeled plastic container and frozen for up to 3 months; so you can make the tortillas another time. You can also store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • You can use cooked dried beans instead of canned beans. You’ll need a total of 450g (just under 1 lb) dried beans (kidney and cannellini or haricot) for this recipe. Soak overnight, drain and rinse. Cook in boiling water until tender, about 30–45 minutes. Drain, rinse and cool.
  • My 4 year old won’t touch the bean salad*, so his chicken tenders are served shredded in tortillas with guacamole and grated carrot; and I take his uneaten bean salad to work for lunch, with a small can of chilli tuna stirred through.
    *Note: he LOVES the tortillas in Recipe 2 though!
  • Leftover goat’s cheese can be used for Caramelised onion and goat’s cheese tart.

Chicken and bean tortillas with tomato salsa

[Recipe 2] Tortillas with shredded chicken and beans

Ingredients (serves 4):
400g (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground chilli (or more, as desired)
♦ 500g (1 lb/3 cups) reserved undressed bean mixture
8 cooked chicken tenderloins (about 420–480g/just under 1 lb), roughly shredded
10–12 tortillas
Choose your sides:
Shredded iceberg lettuce
Pico de gallo (fresh tomato salsa)
Sliced avocado or guacamole
Mexican hot sauce

Place tomatoes, cumin and chilli in a medium saucepan.
Add reserved undressed bean salad and reserved cooked, shredded chicken tenderloins.
Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10–15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat tortillas in a lightly oiled fry pan.
Spoon chicken and bean mixture into warmed tortillas and roll up to enclose. Arrange the suggested sides in little sharing bowls on the table.

  • The chicken and bean filling can be made the day before and warmed in a saucepan when required.
  • Swap the tortillas for crunchy tacos or baked enchiladas, or serve with steamed rice, for a change.
  • If you’ve used fresh (not frozen) planned-overs for recipe 2, leftover chicken and bean filling can be frozen for up to 3 months.

6 thoughts on “God save the bean

    • That’s an excellent obsession to have Chris (unfortunately mine at the moment is chocolate biscuits). Hope you like them! We had ’em again last week, with firm white fish instead of the chook. Bloody nice I must say.

  1. This recipe was really nice! I had chicken fillets and did not know what to do with them.
    Also had canned beans in the pantry. Really tasty!
    I will make the tortillas tomorrow. They look delicious in the photo.

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