Why did the chicken cross the road? To get in my belly!
OK, so those who are vegan or vegetarian might not think that was a funny joke (I wouldn’t really be surprised if my friends thought my attempt at telling a joke was a little lack lustre too), but in all seriousness, I’ve been wanting to cook some sort of casserole using chicken for a while. I’ve cooked many casseroles with beef or lamb, but not so much with chicken. I love chicken and it’s less expensive to buy than beef or lamb, so it’s perfect for me being on a strict Uni-bum budget. The other thing I love is how casseroles can be one pot wonders. I bought myself a casserole dish (on sale, of course) that was able to be used on the stovetop as well as the oven, and it is one of the best cookware items I have ever bought! I can cook off the ingredients and bake the casserole, all in one dish! No extra mess or fuss. Another thing I love about casseroles is that you usually end up with plenty of leftovers (which always taste better the next day) to either eat again the next day, or shove in the freezer for the next time you’re in the mood for casserole – another Uni-bum budget saver! This recipe can serve 4 people.
Get in my belly chicken, leek and bacon casserole
2 tbs olive oil
8 chicken thigh cutlets (I use Lilydale free range chicken)
2 medium leeks, trimmed, halved, washed and sliced
4 rashers middle bacon, trimmed and chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbs dried thyme leaves
1 mini bottle of white wine (I used a 187ml bottle of Chardonnay)
¼ cup plain flour
2 cups chicken stock
200g button mushrooms, quartered
Mashed potato and crusty bread, to serve
Preheat oven to 160°C (fan forced). Heat half of the oil and butter in a flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, in batches, for 5-6 minutes or until golden. Transfer chicken to a bowl.
Heat remaining oil and butter in casserole dish. Add leek, bacon, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until the leek has softened. Add the wine and bring to the boil to cook the alcohol off. Stir in the flour, and cook for a minute. Slowly add the stock, stirring constantly to combine. Add the chicken back into the casserole dish. Chuck in the mushrooms.
Cover, and bring to the boil. Transfer casserole dish to the oven, and bake for 1 hour. Remove the lid, then bake uncovered for another 30 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Serve with mashed potato and crusty bread.
Note: I have changed the original recipe slightly, so if you would like to see the original recipe, click here. If you’re in the mood to change things up a little, this casserole is wonderful served with pasta. Also, I am in no way affiliated with Lilydale. I just happen to be a big fan of their free range chicken. If you haven’t seen their latest TV ad, click here to view it. I think it’s pretty cool.