Classic Chicken Casserole

Bank Holiday Monday and what a surprise the weather wasn’t great! We visited Layer Marney Tower (a beautiful Tudor Palace built in the, 1520s) and there was something about the surrounding landscape or maybe the courtyard that just made it the coldest place! I could have easily worn gloves and a hat but since it’s been warmer lately I had neither. At lunchtime the cafe was busy and so we had a treat as they opened the Long Gallery, usually a wedding venue, for us to eat in. Baby G enjoyed eating a sausage roll and helped himself to relish!
G at Layer Marney Tower, Essex, UK

After a trip out I don’t really feel like cooking and wish I had planned one of my slow cook casseroles. Here’s a recipe for you – tried and tested by my good friend Jenny. Let me know what you think:

Classic Chicken Casserole

Serves 4

Ingredients:

8 chicken thighs or equivalent of any chicken pieces*
2 slices bacon/ham (chopped)
1 chopped onion
2 chopped stalk of celery
2 large chopped carrots
1 large crushed garlic clove
3tbsp of cornflour
1/2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
1tbsp oil
1tsp butter
1tsp tomato puree
300ml liquid (make a combination from either fresh stock, a stock cube or simply pour in wine or even just water)

Slow cooker or Ovenproof dish with a lid.

* Chicken on the bone is best as it provides instant stock

Method:

  1. Pop the butter and oil into either your slow cooker or your ovenproof dish.
  2. Pour the cornflour into a large shallow bowl, into this put the chicken, vegetables and the bacon/ham. Stir all this around until all the ingredients are coated in cornflour (I do this with my hands, but you can use a spoon).
  3. Transfer the flour mixture into the hot dish*, then add to this the garlic, herbs, tomato puree and liquid, stir.
  4. Place the slow cooker on to cook for at least 5 hours or into the oven with an extra 250ml liquid at 100 for 5 hours or even lower temperature depending on how long you leave it in the oven.

Serving Suggestion:

Rice, green beans, carrots and roasted tomatoes. Try stirring through some crème fraiche when the dish has finished cooking.

5 A Day Addition:

Add chopped butternut squash or swede to the other chopped vegetables.

Ways to Make This Dish Happen on a Busy Day:

– Start it cooking in the morning and leave it to be served in the evening, simply leave it in your slow cooker for longer (if your slow cooker has a temperature, put it on low).

– Try putting this dish on the night before and allowing it to cook until sometime the following day. This frees up time in the morning and still provide a tasty meal in the evening.

– Longer cooking is most suited to the slow cooker and if you leave your dish longer in the oven lower the temperature to around 120, but do not leave in the oven longer than 12 hours.

Extra Cooking Information:

–       The meat and vegetables can be seared in a frying pan, with some oil, before transferring to your hot dish. This does add flavour, but is fiddly, takes more time and provides more washing up; so to keep the recipe quick I’ve left this stage out and asked you to put the meat into a hot dish.

–       Use a cast iron dish that can be used on the stove and in the oven, like Le Creuset, then you can sear and pop in the oven without creating extra washing up.

–       Sear your cornflour meat and vegetable mixture first if you have time or see this as important, this is up to you.

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One Response to Classic Chicken Casserole

  1. Angela says:

    Love him helping himself to relish! Glad you all enjoyed eating out and had good time in spite of cold!

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