Steamed Chicken, Flageolet Bean, Roast Plum Tomato and Fennel Salad

With Truffled Lemon Dressing

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Preparation info

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By Peter Gordon

Published 2005

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This salad is perfect for lunch on a sunny day. The chicken can be either served straight from the steamer or left to cool. The bean and fennel salad also makes a great accompaniment to roast or poached chicken. You can make the salad using freshly cooked beans, such as broad beans, borlotti or cannellini, or save time by using canned ones. Also try making this as a meat-free starter, with a little hard cheese shaved on top, or try it with grilled squid or prawns replacing the chicken.


  • tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 heads of fennel
  • 400 g can of cooked flageolet beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • handful of beansprouts, rinsed
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • small handful of sprouts or cress (I used what is called onion cress)

For the Truffled Lemon Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon truffle oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas 4, and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Cut the tomatoes in half lengthways and place on the tray, cut side up. Drizzle with the olive oil, season lightly and bake until they colour and shrink a little, 90 minutes. (If after about an hour they start to colour too much, cover with foil.)

About 30 minutes before they’re going to be ready, get a steamer steaming and place the lightly seasoned chicken breasts in it with the heat up full. Cook until the thickest part of the breast is just cooked (around 12–18 minutes depending on size – use a sharp knife to cut into it and check if it’s ready). Take from the steamer and leave to cool to room temperature, covered in cling film or foil.

Thinly shave the fennel and place in iced water to crisp up.

Make the truffled lemon dressing: mix together the soy sauce, olive oil, truffle oil and lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Mix the beans with the onion, beansprouts, parsley and lemon juice and lightly season.

To Serve

Divide the bean salad between 4 plates and sit the tomato halves on top. Slice each chicken breast into 4 pieces and sit these on top of the salad. Toss the fennel with the dressing and place on the chicken, then sprinkle with the sprouts.