My step by step guide to cooking this classic family dish.
I cook in large quantities for our family of 8 and for our reception shop meals. The quantities are very forgiving, go with what feels right for your family, or cook in bulk and freeze as I do.
This basic recipe is great for all the family as it is tasty enough for adults yet subtle enough for children. I am a big fan of one pot cooking for a family meal and not turning the kitchen into a menu of individual choices.
Whole Fresh Chicken. Free range if possible.
Tip: You can use chicken breast which is much easier and quicker but more expensive or Turkey breast works well too and is cheaper than chicken.
Mushrooms sliced, any variety
Garlic clove or 2
Carrots or other vegetables of choice. Tip: sweet corn works well and popular with most children.
Salt and pepper
Olive oil and butter
Tin of evaporated milk
1. Remove Chicken skin and place in a large pan. Cover in boiling water and simmer gently for half an hour. Cool then remove from the pan, bone and place chicken pieces in a casserole dish. Reserve the liquid. Boling chicken may sound strange but it is the best method for keeping it plump and juicy. To me there is nothing worse than dried out chicken.
2. Saute the mushrooms and crushed garlic cloves in a little olive oil and butter for 3 minutes on a high heat.
3. Add the mushrooms to the casserole dish with a slotted spoon reserving the garlic and mushroom juices.
4. Return frying pan with juices to the heat. Add a few spoons of the reserved chicken juices, good knob of butter and large spoonful or 2 of plain flour, salt and pepper to taste. Gradually add the evaporated milk a little at a time.
5. Simmer and stir till a creamy sauce is formed, if it is too thick just add more of the chicken stock and or evaporated milk.
6. Lightly boil the carrots or other vegetables and add them to the casserole before pouring over the sauce.
7. I like to top the dish with either creamy mashed potato or sliced saute potatoes. For these I peel and slice the potatoes then simply place them in a roasting tin with a little olive oil for about half an hour while the chicken is cooking. Then just arrange on the top of the casserole.
Tip: A puff pastry top works well for a change, or the basic mix served with rice.
8. For my freezer dishes here at Coombe Mill, I then cool and freeze the meals ready for our guests to simply defrost and heat for about 30 – 40 minutes (depending on size). Otherwise the casserole can be chilled till needed in the fridge or heated straight away. A delicious family meal that can be made in advance ready for a busy evening or made in batches and frozen for those days when there just isn’t time!
Give it a go, ask any questions in the comments below, or come and stay here on holiday and try one of mine!
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