When chicken for roasting were considered to be a luxury meal, my mother would buy older chickens and make a casserole.
This is a dish I often make as I find it so easy and delicious. It comes out slightly different every time, depending on what I vegetables I have bought and what I have in the fridge or my store cupboard.
You can use a whole chicken and put that into the dish with the other ingredients but nowadays I usually chicken pieces with thighs being my favourite .
I have not given amounts because they are not that important, they will depend mostly on the size of your dish.
The following are the basic ingredients, the must haves.
Whole chicken or chicken pieces – I think chicken thighs are the best
Onion – chopped – you can use spring onion or leek as well, or even instead of
Garlic – at least 1 clove
Tomatoes – fresh, tinned or passata or
250 ml chicken stock (can be from a cube) with 1-2 tablespoons of tomato purée
Herbs – I use Italian seasoning or oregano & 1-2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
Salt and pepper
This dish is so versatile – you can add any vegetable that you have – I use some of the following: (mushrooms, carrots and peppers being the most often used)
Mushrooms – button ones put in whole or larger ones cut into 2 or 4 without the stalks as these tend to be too woody
Carrots – chopped
Peppers –sliced, any colour, fresh or from a jar or tin, I like red the best
Celery or celeriac– chopped
Tinned sweet corn
Tinned beans – any variety
Lettuce – shredded fine
Parsnips – chopped
Courgettes or cucumber – thick slices
Cabbage – shredded fine
and so on with vegetables …
Glass of white wine or vermouth or sherry
and 2 tablespoons of soured cream to serve.
Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 4 – 180°C or get ready a slow cooker.
Put the chicken into a large casserole dish or if using chicken pieces remove the skin and roll them in a mixture of flour and herbs and lightly brown them in a frying pan and put these into the dish.
Fry the onions and garlic and add these to the dish.
Add all the other ingredients to the dish.
There will be enough liquid in the vegetables for the casserole, so do not add any extra water – but you can add extra stock, wine or sherry if you want now or later if the liquid becomes too reduced.
Cover the dish with a lid or foil and place in the hot oven for at least 3 hour for chicken pieces & 4 hours for a whole chicken.
This dish is best made the day before, cook it for at least 2 hours and then leave it in the dish to cool. The following day put it a medium hot oven again for at least 1 hour. (You might want to add extra stock, wine or sherry if the liquid has become too reduced.) The juices soak into the meat and it tastes wonderful.
Serve with potatoes, rice or buckwheat .