2 June 2018
Chicken Casserole: A Light and Easy Rustic Dish
Peel the onion, halve and chop thickly. Chop the celery and leeks into slices diagonally. Peel and halve the little carrots lengthways. Wash and chop the baby potatoes in half. Wipe and thickly slice the mushrooms. Peel and finely chop the garlic.
Remove and discard the skin from the chicken and season well with salt and black pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large heavy bottomed casserole pot and brown the chicken for 5-6 minutes on one side and a further 5 minutes on the other side.
Lift out the chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside, lower the heat and saute the onion for 2 minutes; add a little more oil if necessary.
Add the celery, leeks, and carrots, stir and saute for a minute or two, then stir in the potatoes and cook very gently for a further 5 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and saute gently for a further 5 minutes.
Scatter on a tablespoon of plain flour then stir and cook for a minute or two before gradually adding the hot chicken stock. Add the thyme and the bay leaves and then stir in a tablespoon of lemon juice and season .
Place the browned chicken back in the pot, pressing gently to push it into the vegetables and stock. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover with the lid and cook for 45-50 minutes.
You don't have to remove the skin from the chicken; I prefer to because it lowers the fat content of the casserole without affecting the flavour. If you do leave the skin on, you may need to skim off some of the fat after browning the chicken and before adding the vegetables.
If you don't have chanteray carrots, just use ordinary ones sliced fairly thickly. Serve with fresh crusty bread to mop up the juices!