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How to make actress Fay Ripley's chicken with beans one pot wonder

Best-loved for her role as Jenny in hit late-Nineties series Cold Feet, Fay Ripley has reinvented herself as a foodie in more recent years, and even won the Mumsnet Best Cookbook award for her first recipe book, Fay's Family Food, published in 2009.

As a busy, working mum-of-two, 48-year-old Fay's inspiration for her latest cookbook, Fay Makes It Easy, came from wanting to put the love back into cooking, eating and sharing food.

"I now have more books than kids. My family and friends are the tick in my clock and sharing time and great food with them is what makes the grotty bits of life palatable," she reveals.

Cold Feet star Fay Ripley
Cold Feet star Fay Ripley

The latest book has 100 delicious recipes that the actress says will "strip away stress like fake tan covers up cellulite".

Fay doesn't shy away from the more difficult dishes, like steak with a red wine and rosemary sauce, and tackles her crusty sunflower loaf with ease, using everyday ingredients and simple instructions.

"There's also a double serving of desserts that will make you look like a genius, while leaving time for a cuppa and a box set," she promises.

"Too much preparation means you don't get to brush your hair or teeth before it's time to eat. My food always comes from my kitchen and my heart."

Here's hoping this tasty recipe from Fay Makes It Easy will solve a few problems and put smiles on faces, including yours.

Fay Ripley's chicken with beans one-pot wonder
Fay Ripley's chicken with beans one-pot wonder


(Serves 4)

2tbsp olive oil

8 big, skinless, boneless chicken thighs

2 large leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced

1tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

120ml dry white wine

250ml chicken stock

2tsp grainy mustard

2 x 400g tins flageolet beans, drained, but not rinsed

3 slices Serrano ham (or Parma ham)

Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves chopped


Heat half the olive oil in a heavy-based casserole dish or large non-stick pan. Brown the chicken thighs until the outside looks nutty all over. Remove and set aside.

Throw in the leeks with a second glug of oil. Soften for two to three minutes, then add the rosemary and garlic for another minute.

Stir in the wine and let it bubble for two to three minutes, stirring all the good stuff off the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, mustard and beans, then tear in the ham.

Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, pop a lid on and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Throw in the parsley.

Serve with crusty wholemeal bread to soak up those juices.

De-stress tip: Any tinned pulses work in this dish; whatever you have in the cupboard.

Fay Ripley's new cook book is available now
Fay Ripley's new cook book is available now

Fay Makes It Easy by Fay Ripley is published by HarperCollins, priced £20. Available now

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