I've not made this chicken casserole for a long while now and it really doesn't take too long to put together for a tasty dinner. Since we had decided to stay in on the Friday night to catch the opening of the 2008 Olympics, I'd prepare this casserole for our evening meal. To accompany the dish, I put together some mashed potatoes and garlic bread. The garlic bread will do just nicely to mop up the yummy gravy.
Although the recipe below says to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, I shortened the time to about an hour. It was already 8.40pm by then and my tummy was complaining for food .... My husband says I'm usually in two states of mind - either hungry or full! My reply to him is that "I'm just normal"!
I guarantee that you'll not have any left overs. But if you do, keep in the refrigerator and it'll taste even better the next day.
(Serves 4 – 5)
3 tsp oil
1kg skinless chicken (I used a combination of breasts, thighs and drumsticks)
100g diced streaky bacon (non streaky bacon can also be used)
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped roughly
2 carrots, peeled and sliced (not too thinly)
1 clove garlic, crushed
100g button mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 Tsp plain flour
2 tsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley, to garnish
1) Head oil in a large heavy-based frying pan or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan and brown pieces on all sides (this should take about 10 minutes). Don’t overcrowd the pan when frying. If necessary, fry the chicken in two or more batches, adding more oil if required.
2) Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
3) Reduce heat to medium. Add some more oil to the pan if needed. Add bacon, onion and carrot to the pan and cook, stirring until onion has softened (about 2 minutes).
4) Add garlic, mushrooms, flour and tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes.
5) Gradually stir in wine and chicken stock. Increase heat to high and continue stirring until the mixture simmers.
6) Return chicken to the pan and add the bay leaf. Cover pan (have the steam vent on the lid open) and reduce heat so that the mixture is simmering. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until chicken is tender and sauce has reduced. You may need to remove lid for the last 10 – 15 minutes of cooking time if the sauce has not reduced enough. Stir casserole occasionally during cooking.
7) Just before serving, stir in cream, bring casserole to the simmer (about 1 minute) and then turn off the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
8) Place chicken on serving plates, spoon over sauce and sprinkle with parsley.