chicken and vegetable casserole
 

serves 4, twice over, hands-on time 20 min, oven time 40-50 min

Make Ahead: Cook to the end of step 2, then cool completely and store, covered, in the fridge for 3-4 days. Or see How to freeze it.

Next time: Bone-in chicken thighs will add more flavour (remove the skin before cooking). Use white wine instead of cider and any veg you have to hand - try carrots, mushrooms or celery.

Vegetable oil for frying
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
500g small potatoes, halved
4 leeks, finely sliced
300ml dry cider, plus an extra glug
750ml chicken stock
12 British free-range skinless boneless chicken thighs
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard
80g crème fraîche
Bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped (optional)
Lemon juice to serve (optional)

Heat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/ gas 5. Heat a glug of oil in a large deep casserole with a lid. Add the vegetables and fry for 8-10 minutes over a medium-high heat to colour.

Add the cider, turn up the heat to high, then reduce for 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, chicken thighs and mustard. Put the lid on and cook in the oven for 40-50 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Add an extra glug of cider, stir in the crème fraiche and season. 3 Serve half the casserole, scattered with the freshly chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon, if using.

How To Freeze It:
Leave the remainder to cool completely, then transfer to a large freezerproof plastic container, food bag or foil containers and freeze for up to 3 months.

How To Reheat It:
If stored in a plastic container or food bag, defrost fully, then pour into a pan or flameproof casserole and heat through on the hob until piping hot. If in foil containers, reheat from frozen at 160°C/140°C fan/gas 4 for 50-60 minutes until piping hot.

PER SERVING 320kcals, 11g fat (4g saturated), 27.7g protein, 22g carbs (8.5g sugars), 0.7g salt, 6.2g fibre