Shell the beans straight into a saucepan. You should end up with just under
Blanch and peel the tomatoes and add them whole. Add the vinegar and cover with cold water, film the surface with a little of the olive oil and bring to the boil.
Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper only when the beans are cooked. Premature salting of fresh beans will make their skins tough. Strain through a colander, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard everything except the beans.
Pick over and destalk the rocket. Blanch for 30 seconds in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water. Refresh in cold water.
Brush the chicken joints with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Cook the chicken in a non-stick pan over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, turning 2 or 3 times until just resilient when prodded. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Bring the chicken stock and 575 ml/1 pt of the bean cooking liquid to a simmer. Add the beans and warm them through. Stir in the blanched rocket and warm for 1 minute.
Ladle the broth and beans into large warmed bowls. Slice the chicken breasts across at an angle. Distribute between the bowls. Gloss with a little extra-virgin olive oil and scatter over some celery leaves.
© 1995 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.