Hannah friendly

Recipes from a lactose-free kitchen

The classic Hannah-friendly dinner party dish

Chicken with beans

This one is a classic. I've been making this for more years than I care to remember. Even when back in my mother's kitchen (my love of cooking goes that far back!) this was a standard when people came round for dinner. This dish works particularly well for feeding a crowd, and, with a nice serving dish you can bring it straight to the table and let people help themselves - definitely my favourite kind of dinner party as my presentation is never usually up to much! Anyway, the quantities here work for about 4 people but it scales really easily (another massive advantage of this dish). Also, any leftover tomato sauce can easily be used for other things, we've had it on pizza before or thrown into a tomato sauce we're making for something else.

Start with a little oil in a large saucepan, crisp up 4 slices prosciutto crudo, frying for a minute or two on each side. Remove these from the pan and leave to one side, these will be a nice garnish once the dish is done (plus it gives a lovely flavour to the sauce). In the same saucepan, fry 3 crushed cloves of garlic before adding 4 chicken breasts. Brown the chicken for a few minutes on each side and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Add in one tin of tomatoes (we usually use whole tinned tomatoes so you get as much tomatoey goodness as possible) and about half a can of water, to make sure you get all the juice from the tin. Cook the chicken in the tomatoes for around 15 minutes, turning the chicken breasts over every now and again. Add in 1 tablespoon tomato puree and a pinch a salt then throw in 1 can cannellini beans and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (keep turning the chicken breasts when you remember). Throw in a handful of halved cherry tomatoes about five minutes before serving, which should soften nicely. We like to serve this in a shallow dish surrounded by garlic-y ciabatta toasts (slices of ciabatta that have been grilled and then brushed with garlic butter) and scattered with basil leaves, which looks rather impressive!