Warm Chicken with Green Beans and Chard

Warm Chicken Salad with Green Beans and Chard Recipe

As much as I like big flavors, I sometimes want something more gentle, a little genteel, even. Chicken, French beans and chard lend themselves to such cooking.–Nigel Slater

LC Simple, Satiating Supper Note

This is an honest recipe, one that doesn’t stand in the way of the inherent loveliness of summer ingredients. We’ve nothing more to say.

Warm Chicken with Green Beans and Chard Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 2


  • For the dressing
  • A small shallot
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Small bunch of mint, stems discarded, leaves finely chopped
  • For the chicken and salad
  • 2 plump boneless chicken breasts
  • A little oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Sprig rosemary, finely chopped
  • 7 ounces green beans, preferably the slender French ones
  • 12 stalks rainbow Swiss chard
  • 6 smallish tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on their size
  • A few nasturtium blossoms or leaves, if you wish


  • Make the dressing
  • 1. Peel and chop the shallot very finely. Place it in a screw-top jar with a good pinch of salt, the lemon juice, olive oil, and mint. Screw on the lid and shake the jar to mix the dressing.
  • Make the chicken and salad
  • 2. Preheat a grill or grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  • 3. Brush the chicken with the oil, season with the salt and black pepper, and scatter with the rosemary. Grill or sear the chicken until cooked through. Place on a plate and set aside for 10 minutes, perhaps with an overturned bowl or piece of foil on top to keep the chicken warm, saving any cooking juices that come from it.
  • 4. Meanwhile, trim the ends from the beans. Slice the chard stalks into about 1-inch lengths and remove and reserve the leaves. Boil the beans and the chard stalks in boiling water until tender—a matter of 2 or 3 minutes in each case, depending on the size. Dip the chard leaves into boiling water for 30 seconds. Remove and drain. (I prefer to do this in two pans, as the red from the chard water may darken the beans, but it is up to you. Or you could cook the beans first and then the chard.)
  • 5. Pour the dressing into a bowl, then add the drained green beans, chard leaves and stalks, the tomatoes, and the nasturtium flowers if you’re using them. Divide the salad between two plates or lovely serving bowls. Cut the chicken breasts into thick slices—about four each—and place on top of the salad.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

I LOVED this recipe. It being a work night and always trying to prepare dinner minimally fast I decided to just go ahead and boil both beans and chard together and truthfully I did not notice a difference in color change or taste. What I loved about this recipe is the fact that it actually does not need a side dish to go with it, even though I had cooked some dirty rice which went very well. The dressing was amazing, and next time I will double it as we all loved it so. The kids also really enjoyed it, which surprised me. Now… here are my two cents. I want to try to repeat this recipe but instead of chicken breast do it with salmon. Something tells me the fattiness of the salmon will add another level to this recipe.

Nigel Slater writes beautifully and his words entice me to try a recipe that, from a less talented writer, might otherwise seem boring. This recipe is great for a quick, healthy lunch or light dinner. Very fresh flavors.

As expected, this dish turned out to be a great summer meal. The flavors melded beautifully and the vinaigrette is one that would work perfectly for a salad or perhaps on a piece of grilled fish. It bothered me to not be instructed to salt the water when I cooked the string beans and the chard stalks. I believe the flavors of the dish would have been even better had a tablespoon or so of salt been added to the boiling water. I boiled both together and did not find that the red chard water darkened the beans. Perhaps it did a little, but it was not really noticeable to me. Preferring my beans a little more tender, I actually boiled the beans and the stalks for 5 to 6 minutes rather than the 2 to 3 minutes as stated in the recipe. The end result is a very attractive dish – quite colorful and visually appealing.

I love Swiss chard and am always looking for new recipes for it. This recipe was great in that you used the entire bunch of Swiss chard, stems and all. Although my grocery store did not have rainbow chard, just the red chard was equally delicious and made a beautiful presentation with the tomatoes and green beans. I had to look up what the option ingredient nasturtiums were and was surprised to see they are very similar to watercress. I cooked the green beans and stems in the same saucepan of boiling water and the stems did not dye the beans which was good; they just dyed the water. The only adjustments I recommend to the recipe are to maybe think about marinating the chicken for a couple of hours with the olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper mixture. The chicken could have used extra depth of flavor, and I think that would help that aspect. Also, I would add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the dressing; I think that extra spiciness would be a nice touch as well. Overall, this was a wonderfully tasting and healthy recipe! I like this dish for a spring/summer dish because of the low-carb aspect as well; there was a nice portion-size on each plate but mainly vegetables so it was just filling enough!

This recipe is delicious and easy to follow. The ingredients are fairly readily available in most US markets, and it is a healthy and light dinner/lunch option. My only suggestion is to salt the boiling water. Boiling tends to extract flavor. This salt is needed to sustain the greens’ flavor. I also grilled my chicken and began cooking the vegetables while the chicken was resting…I think this simple step will yield a fresher salad.


    1. Terrific to hear! It’s so versatile. And so lovely, especially with a touch of sweetness. You’ve probably already tried just sautéing it in a little olive oil with some garlic if you please, and then tossing in some raisins or currants that you’ve plumped in a little warm Madeira? Ooooh so good.

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