Today is a first for me. New England has been issued with a blizzard warning. Yep, thats new….Im not sure Ireland has ever experienced a blizzard so I will be honest and say I’m nervous! The snow is coming down steadily outside and a winter wonderland has emerged. Classic casserole weather.
Its ok though, we had some warning so it is safe to say the house is overflowing with food! What better way to eat on a day like this than a warming one pot stew. I have a feeling that stews and casseroles are a mandatory part of the Irish diet and are not quite as common in other parts of the world. Nonetheless, I can think of nothing more suitable to eat on a snow day than a warm and comforting hug-in-a-bowl. This is chock full of veg so perfect for those of you watching your waistlines this January. I have served it with a small amount of potato mash but it would be equally delicous with cauliflower mash or even on its own, its plenty hearty!
Comforting Chicken Casserole:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 6 chicken thighs – boneless and skinless.
- 2 slices of bacon, chopped into chunks.
- 25g plain flour
- 2 medium onions, cut into wedges.
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, crushed or grated
- 2 stalks of celery, cut unto chunks
- 2 carrots, cut into chunks
- 500ml of best quality chicken stock
- Small amount of roux for thickening
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 320F/150C
- Heat olive oil in a deep casserole dish. Place chicken in the casserole over a medium heat until browned. Turn and brown on the other side.
- Remove chicken to a bowl. Add the bacon to the pot, fry until crisp and all the oil has been release then remove this to the bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving all the fat behind.
- In another saucepan, heat the stock to a simmer. It really is important to use the best quality stock in this dish as it is where lots of the flavor comes from.
- Add the onion wedges to the casserole dish to brown slightly. Add the garlic and stir well. After 2-3 mins, add the carrot and celery. Cook for 2 further minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir well to coat. Add the hot stock into the pot, stirring well.
- Return the chicken and bacon to the casserole and stir.
- Place casserole dish into the oven for 30-40 mins, until the vegetables have softened and the chicken is cooked through.
- Serve with a side of steamed potatoes and some green veg if you like.