chicken casserole

Tom Kerridge

This easy one-pot meal is a simple version of coq au vin using chicken thighs, which are full of flavour. It has the added advantage that it can be cooked a day or two in advance and reheated to serve. My chicken crumble topping introduces an extra layer of taste and texture. You will have more than you need (enough for eight servings); store the rest of the crumble in an airtight container (for up to 14 days) and sprinkle onto dishes that need a bit of extra flavour and crunch.

Calories: 465 per serving (325 without crumble)

serves 4 people

8 large skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (670g in total)
200ml red wine
Olive oil spray
3 rashers of smoked back bacon (110g in total), cut into strips
200g baby onions, peeled
150g carrots, diced
100g celery, diced
3 sprigs of thyme
200g button mushrooms
300ml fresh chicken stock
2 tbsp cornflour, mixed to a paste with 2 tbsp water
A handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

for the chicken crumble (optional)
30g bran flakes
10g millet flakes
2 tbsp dried onion flakes
1 crumbly chicken stock cube
3 tsp dried sage
½ tsp thyme leaves
3 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

Remove the excess fat from the chicken. Put the thighs in a bowl, pour over the red wine and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, heat the oven to 180C (200C non-fan). Pat the chicken dry with kitchen paper, reserving the marinade. Spray each thigh two or three times with oil on each side.

Heat a large flameproof casserole over a high heat and sear the chicken thighs on both sides until well browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the bacon strips to the pan and fry until crispy. Toss in the onions and carrots and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, thyme, mushrooms and reserved marinade and bring to the boil. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the casserole, put the lid on and braise in the oven for 1 hour.

To make the chicken crumble, crush the bran, millet, onion flakes, stock cube, sage, thyme and ½ tsp salt to a coarse mixture, using a pestle and mortar.

Dry-fry, stirring, in a small pan over a low heat for 2-3 minutes, until toasted and browned. Stir through the flaked almonds and leave to cool. After an hour, remove the casserole from the oven and transfer the chicken to a plate.

Place the casserole over a medium heat and add the cornflour paste. Stir for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens. Season with salt and pepper and return the chicken to the casserole. Stir through the chopped parsley.

Serve in warmed bowls, sprinkled with the chicken crumble, if using.

The Sunday Times, December 31 2017