Chicken Family Green Beans Recipe

As much as one likes to cook, one has to admit that on some nights, a bit of convenience and instant gratification doesn’t hurt. And when our mood clamors for an effortless yet satisfying dinner at home, it is a true comfort to know that we can turn to the Chicken Family*, and that the Chicken Family will be there for us.

Chicken Family is the name of a small rôtisserie on rue des Abbesses. More a stand than an actual shop, it is a narrow, corridor-like space with large roasting racks on both sides, and a little platform on which you step to place your order. It is indeed a family-run business (I don’t think their last name is actually Chicken, but I feel quite free to call them whatever I wish to in my mind) and all of its members — the father, the mother, the daughter, and a young man who I like to think is the son-in-law — have a constant air of gaiety (the heat-flushed cheeks certainly help) that is quite communicative, and adds a great deal to one’s chicken-buying pleasure.

Even during the recent heatwave, when it must have been the seventh circle of hell to stand by the open roasters, and when 99% of the population was huffing and puffing and feeling either indignant or quite sorry for themselves, they still managed to smile their merry smiles and exchange the usual pleasantries with the customers.

“All right, all right, we get it, they’re your neighborhood heroes. But what of the chicken?” Ah, the chicken. The skin golden-brown and crispy, the flesh perfectly seasoned and remarkably moist, it is roasted chicken at its best (with the exception of my mother’s naturally) and I could have it every. single. day. Only I don’t, because I fear I might exhaust the magic.

In addition to their chicken, the Chicken Family rotisserie also sells a variety of home-style sides and desserts, allowing you to put together an entire meal in one fell, convenient swoop. We have had their îles flottantes a couple of times and they are quite good, but the satellite item I most often buy is a portion of their splendid green beans, bursting with flavor and tender just so.

I once asked how they were prepared, and was told that they were simply sautéed in olive oil with caramelized onions. This seemed straightforward enough, and when I found some healthy-looking green beans at the market recently, I decided to try and emulate the Chicken Family recipe. My copycat green beans didn’t turn out exactly the same way as the original — I suspect the Chicken Family uses a larger amount of olive oil than I can bring myself to — but they were quite close, and they made for a very pleasing side to the oven-roasted fish we were having that day, a beautiful rascasse from La Poissonnerie Bleue.

And yet the Chicken Family need not worry: I’m glad I know how to make these green beans, but it certainly won’t stop me from buying them, ready-made and oh-so-convenient, at my favorite rotisserie.

* Update: To our infinite sadness, the Chicken Family rôtisserie is now closed.

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Chicken Family Green Beans Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Serves 3 to 4.

Chicken Family Green Beans Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • One clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 500 grams (1 pound) fresh green beans, trimmed


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and onions, season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, stir, cover, and cook over gentle heat for 20 minutes, stirring every once in a while, until softened and golden.
  2. In the meantime, steam the beans for 8 minutes, until cooked through but still firm. Add the beans to the skillet, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper, add 1 teaspoon oil, and stir to coat.
  3. Cover and cook over low heat for another 10 minutes, until the beans soften and get intimate with the onions. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and decide if the beans need a little more time -- I like them soft.
  • Such a simple recipe for green beans. And that’s why I’m sure it will be delicious!

    We have a similar rotisserie here in the Washington, DC, area called Chicken Out. However, it is a chain, which means the staff are sullent teenagers, not a pleasant little family. Why does rotisserie chicken always seem much tastier than anything I make at home?

  • I like your recipe but I would not cook the beans and oignons so long (10 minutes), or at least on very low heat, in order not to eat too cooked oil (bad for you).

  • They sure look delicious to me! I love green beans.

  • Wow — you’re putting a lot of miles on those beans. 18+ minutes of cooking for the beans, 30+ for the garlic and onions.

    How much heat are you using with the sautee pan? I suppose this is closer to a gentle braise than a straight sautee? Are we barely bubbling, or do we sizzle?

  • My French daughter in law made some good green beans-they were even canned-first she fried some lardons, then onions until golden, added chopped tomatoes and finally the green beans. It was very good. I do another dish with green beans-cooked until soft-onions and tomatoes. At the end at fresh chopped basil–heaven.

  • Yes, it takes a little while for the onions to caramelize, and for the beans to get soft; this is done over gentle heat. If you prefer crisp onions and crisp beans, you can certainly shorten the cooking time, but it won’t be quite the same dish…

  • I do enjoy reading your blog, Clotilde. If it’s not too much to say, sometimes I think we must be living parallel lives – at least as far as shopping goes! We’ve been eating (probably more than) our fair share of Chicken Family chickens this year. I’ve never tried the green beans, though, so thanks for the tip! I’m also in awe of Coquelicot’s piccola baguette, but I think the best pain au chocolat would have to be at boulangerie d’Antan (?) – the place with the blue facade – on rue des Abbesses towards rue des Martyrs. Also, Chez Carmine makes the best pizza in Paris! Do you have other Montmartre recommendations?

  • I’d add that if you salt the onions prior to carmelization and let them sit for a bit, a lot of the water will come out speeding up the carmelizing.

  • flo

    Hello Clotilde!

    Your post makes me think about the most delicious green beans salad that my dad makes, often on my request!! This is a great summer side dish and I should sit by him next time he makes some to get the secret of this delight!

  • yellowmango

    Aaaah – I love their chicken. I was staying in Montmarte (rue Charles Nordier) last month and we had 3 of their chickens in one week. Didn’t try the green beans though and after reading your entry I have green bean envy.

  • Debbie

    Hi Clotilde! You can go a number of ways with this. Ken Hom had one of my favorites for szechuan green beans or yard-long beans in one of his earlier cookbooks (“Fragrant Harbor Taste”, I think). Sub for the onions: a lot of garlic, Chinese fermented black beans, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot chili pepper (flakes or paste, optional), and most important, at the end, a good grinding of szechuan “peppercorn”–very aromatic flowerbud, like coriander seed crossed with lemongrass, black pepper, and–caraway? something–unusual but really hits the spot. Skip the separate steaming and just toss the beans into the pan with the oil and garlic and so on at high heat for a few minutes, slap a lid on it and turn down the heat for a few minutes (add a splash of water beforehand, at your discretion). Heaven (unless you hate szechuan peppercorn, of course–taste-test on one garlicked green bean first before adding to the pot).

  • Kai

    I love green beans cooked this way, I first tasted this at Kenny Rogers in Staten Island, New York, and was called Italian green beans (also as a side to KR’s deliciously roasted chicken). When KR came to the Philippines they had it for a while but over the years they changed the side dishes menu, and the Italian green beans was phased out. I miss it so, maybe it’s high time I try cooking it at home, thanks for the recipe.

  • I have 1kg Fresh green beans waiting for me in the fridge… I find it so long to prepare… Usually I eat beans “hot”, I mean “warm” and “spicy”. Cold, their taste is different, much more like plastic (and the texture is different too). Maybe your recipe can help eating green beans when they’re cold (I’ll try to let them cool once cooked). Summer isn’t my favourite season for eating warm vegetables…

  • I went to a Szechuan restaurant that wrapped their Szechuan style green beans dans le meme type du pate que Beijing duck. It was AMAZING. I think the pate was toasted before wrapping it around the beans like a spring roll.

  • The beans look very fresh and simple – I think I’m going to try your recipe this weekend.


  • Nicolle Sloane

    Hi Clotilde,

    I happened upon your blog via La Coquette a few days ago! What a treat!!!! I live in Vail, Colorado and just started blogging a few months ago about books (including cookbooks because, like you, I LOVE to cook at home). I’m so impressed with how successful you’ve been. It’s so exciting, and I wish you the very best of luck with your book (I work in a bookstore, so I’ll be sure we stock a few copies!!). I look forward to adding you to my little blogosphere. Keep up the good work. (I hope to get to Paris this year, it’s been five years since I’ve been there and I MISS it! I just love looking at all your street pics. ;>)–Best wishes – Nicolle

  • I live in Sicily and the rotisserie chicken here is to die for! Stop into any little chicken shop and walk out with a foil-wrapped roast chicken that is stuffed with fried potatoes, marinated vegetables and olives. Mmmmm…I’ll have to go get one tomorrow! Those green beans sounds fantastic! Your site is an inspiration! I’m new to foodblogging but I’ve been having a lot of fun with it at my site and am finding out that the foodblogging community is filled with wonderful people!

  • wow, they are truly neighbourhood heroes; to be slaving away while the whole nothern hemisphere is melting is no small feat.

    Chicken and green beans is a combination that cannot be beat, this looks simply delicious!

  • Simplest and the most flavorful way of doing the slender beans.

    The ingredients that have been used in the recipe can be kept the same, but you can transform the buttery flavor of the beans by sprinkling crispy fried onions, black pepper and lime juice when the beans are cooked.

    Onions blend more intimately with beans when they are thoroughly stirred with beans. The best way to do it is to crispy fry onions and then mix it with beans.

  • Barbara

    I have been doing that for several years now. It even works for frozen green beans when fresh ones are not in season. Yumm!! Since I live in Bretagne where to butter is so tastyly salty I add that at the end of the cooking. Uberyummy!!

  • Tricia

    I hold a very distinct memory of what seemed like a hundred rotisserie chicken carts on the market square in Brugges, Belgium. The scent was incredible – I think even the most ardent vegetarian would have felt compelled to buy some chicken and eat it on the spot! Your description of the Chicken Family shop brought it rushing back to me.

  • Green beans are one of my favorite side dishes. :) I’ve cooked beans in a similar way, but never thought to put onions. I should try that!

    I like my beans to have a ‘crunch’ to them, however, so I blanch them before tossing them into the hot olive oil.

    Any way you cook them, green beans are so delicious!

  • It seems to me that every family has a secret green bean recipe. I’m surprised they revealed theirs! My grandmother would never.

  • I am so late posting a comment, but it was my first chance to say something since I made your green bean recipe. They turned out so good! I used sweet red onions since I had them in the house. That made for a sweet and colorful addition.
    Delicious … Thank you!

  • chicken family

    hi! I am the son-in-law working at the chicken family, some people said us we were on internet, so we made a search to find your site. Thanks for your critics, we really enjoy your article. that’s really gentle to make a little bit of advertisement for us. we promote french traditionnal food, and it’s a pleasure to make discover for our foreign customers. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy all our dishes, and we hope to see you soon. if you want more information you can write to my email adress:

  • Melanie

    Salut Clotilde!

    Your green beans recipe looks fab. It reminds me of one I had in Caen, although the person who made it told me she got the recipe from her aunt in the midi. Basically, it’s as you have it, then a soup spoon of balsamic vinnegar is stirred through, the pan is taken off the heat and an egg is whisked with a fork and stirred through JUST as it’s going to the table. Sublime!

  • Abigail

    I stayed on rue des Abbesses this summer and we loved the Chicken Family! Especially the potato gratin and the beans were lovely also. Another favorite was the Greek traiteur across the street.

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