Food & Drink

James St Recipes: Niall McKenna's piri piri chicken, and butter bean, tomato and chicken broth

Niall McKenna's piri piri chicken
Niall McKenna's piri piri chicken

This week I have shared two delicious chicken recipes that are a great way to use up any leftover chicken you have in the fridge. The first is spicy and fragrant peri peri chicken thighs – a go-to dinner in our house. The second recipe is a butter bean, tomato and chicken soup, that is another great way to use up any left-over chicken you have in the fridge, creating a delicious lunch.

Chicken is one of the most popular sources of protein that we tend to use in many of our lunches and dinners, but this versatile ingredient doesn't have to be bland. In order to make the most of the chicken, I recommend always having a few staple spices and herbs in the cupboard.

If chicken is a staple ingredient in your diet, why not try out one of our most popular cookery school classes, 'One Chicken, Five Ways'. This class demonstrates how you can make the most out of a whole chicken – from making stock to using the drumsticks and thighs. The cookery school is a great way to learn new cooking skills, or to enjoy an entertaining night out with friends.

For more information or to book, visit


Serves 4

8 chicken thighs, skin on and with bone

4 peri peri peppers, deseeded

Juice of 1 lemon

4 garlic cloves

1 tbsp paprika

1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

4 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt

Ground black pepper


Start by cooking the peppers in a roasting tray for 10 minutes. Peel the peppers and cut into chunks. Add the peppers to a stick blender with the garlic, lemon, paprika, parsley and olive oil and whizz until it is a fine paste.

Take the chicken out of the fridge and season with salt and pepper. Pour half of the paste over the chicken and cover in cling film, placing in the fridge to marinade. It is best to leave this marinade for a couple of hours.

Preheat the oven to 180C and when ready to cook, take the chicken thighs out of the fridge, place on a roasting tray and add the remaining marinade to the chicken, basting it in the sauce.

Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes, until cooked through. Serve with the sauce on the side from the roasting tin.

Niall McKenna's butter bean, tomato and chicken broth
Niall McKenna's butter bean, tomato and chicken broth



100g butter beans cooked in water

50g chickpeas, cooked in water

500g ripe plum tomatoes

5 red peppers, chopped

6 cloves garlic

1 large onion

Salt and black pepper

Olive oil

500ml vegetable stock

1 chicken breast, cut into strips


Start by cooking off the butter beans. You need to do this in a separate pot with water (do not add salt as it will make them go hard and inedible).

The same needs to be done with the chickpeas; cook in a separate pot with no salt until cooked.

Next, preheat the oven to 200C and cook off the tomatoes.

In a roasting tray, mix the tomatoes, peppers, garlic and onion. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a good measure of olive oil.

Cook for about 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and place in a pan with the vegetable stock.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

Using a hand blender, blend the liquid. I like my soup a little chunky rather than smooth.

Add the thin strips of chicken to the soup to poach in the liquid. Cook for five minutes, add in the cooked butter beans, and serve with olive oil. Always taste for seasoning.

You can keep this in the fridge for 24 hours – it tastes better the next day.