Delicious and easy to make, this nourishing chicken casserole is perfect no matter the time of year. We recently made this on one of those cold June days when it rains and the temperature drops quite drastically – it was extremely comforting, and as it is not a heavy dish it makes a lovely light supper.
I N G R E D I E N T S
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 large stick of celery, finely diced
1 large, or 2 small carrots, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 rashers of bacon or similar quantity pancetta, chopped up (optional)
8 x organic chicken tenders, or 4 x organic chicken breasts
25g plain flour (we use gluten-free by doves farm)
A glass of white wine (not essential but does give a lovely flavour)
Approx. 500ml chicken stock, or boullion stock
Fresh rosemary stalk and some freshly chopped thyme (or use dried herbs if fresh not available)
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Fresh parsley, chopped
M E T H O D
1. Pre-heat the oven to 110°C, static setting.
2. Using a casserole dish (we love this one by Staub) add a tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onion, carrot and celery over a gentle heat – you don’t want them to go brown, really it’s to soften them so little bit of waiting around is needed – it should take 6-7 minutes – keep stirring occasionally. Once the onion is translucent and the celery and carrots have softened, remove from the dish using a slotted spoon. Add the bacon and turn up the heat slightly to help render the fat out of the bacon (this is why you don’t need to add more olive oil to this stage). Once the bacon is starting to go crispy, add the garlic for around a minute and keep stirring – not to be too bossy but don’t let it go brown and it should all start to smell amazing in the kitchen. Remove the bacon and garlic using the slotted spoon and put on top of the onion, carrot and celery mix.
3. Next add a little more olive oil and turn up the heat slightly to fry off the chicken. We used organic chicken tenders but you could use breast meat, or thighs, legs etc – just remove the skin first otherwise the casserole can be a little greasy. Let the chicken brown on both sides, and then add back in the onion, celery, carrot, bacon etc. Stir to combine, turn up the heat then add a good glug of white wine. Wait until the wine has reduced, then turn the heat down and add the flour and stir so it is coating everything. Next add the stock a little at a time – you might not need the full 500ml – essentially you want to cover what is in the dish with liquid. Lastly, add the rosemary and thyme if you have them, a little salt and pepper (just a little as the stock will have salt in and you can season later on to adjust).
4. Place in the oven for around 45 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust it to suit. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve! We love this with mashed potatoes which feels really comforting and warming if it’s cold outside or you just fancy a bowl of comfort food. Alternatively, you could have it with new potatoes or wild rice and steamed greens like runner beans, cavalo nero or tenderstem broccoli.