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Chicken mushroom casserole

Folks, here is a really fantastic one pot chicken meal that is just what I like, very little mess, short preparation, delicious and made with ingredients that most of you should have in your homes. The only thing you may need to go out and buy are the fresh herbs and if thats the case consider buying already potted herbs from the supermarket that you can pop onto your windowsill for any time fresh herbs. It does contain wine which makes a huge difference to the flavour and for those of you who would like to substitute the wine, pop over to Woolies or your closest good deli and get a bottle of verjuice.

It’s a rustic kind of meal that does not require fine dicing or anything fancy, it’s home cooking through and through.(for 4 hungry people like me or 6 quite happily)

What you need

8-10 chicken pieces or 1 whole chicken cut up
1 large onion roughly chopped
2 celery sticks roughly chopped
400g button mushrooms halved/quartered depending on size
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 litre chicken stock (hot)
350ml red wine
150ml full fat cream
Salt and black pepper
Fresh thyme, rosemary and a bayleaf
Tarragon and parsley roughly chopped
6 spring onions finely sliced

The process

The best way to do it is in a cast iron casserole dish and if you don’t have one you are going to need a pan as well.

Place the cast iron casserole/pan on a high heat and add about 2/3 tablespoon of oil and brown your chicken pieces on both sides. You can leave the skin on but if you are everese to skin in your meal, take it off. remove the browned pieces and set aside.

Now reduce the heat to medium and take the pot off the heat while you get your onion, garlic, celery and carrots together. Place the pot back on the heat and toss in the ingredients, give them a few stirs and then toss in the thyme, rosemary and bayleaf and allow to cook for about 3 minutes giving it a stir every now and then.

Pour in the wine or verjuice slowly now and bring it to a simmer. Let it simmer until the bubbles have reduced in size which will tell you that it has reduced and the alcohol burned off. Now pour in your hot stock and bring to a fast boil, toss in your chicken pieces and reduce the heat to medium, put on the lid and allow to cook for 30 minutes. If you are using a corningware casserole dish, place the chicken in the dish, pour over the liquid and veg and into a 180 Celsius oven for 30 minutes.

Now remove the lid, add the cream, stir, add the mushrooms, stir and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes with the lid off. Taste and season.

A minute or two before serving add the spring onions tarragon and parsley, stir it in and thats it you are done, serve with mashed potato. It may look like a lot, but it’s very straight forward, so give it a shot and enjoy.

Variations: add about 100g of chopped bacon (added into my one) when you cook the onions. Also add a handful of par cooked potatoes when you add the stock for a complete meal. Add a cup of peas or beans that have been chopped with the mushrooms.