Chicken casserole

 Chicken Casserole

This hearty family-sized chicken casserole is great with boiled or jacket potatoes and works well with chicken breast meat, thighs or drumsticks – this recipe should make enough for two nights.

1 large 2kg (4? lb) chicken, jointed into 8 pieces

100g (4oz) streaky bacon, chopped

25g (1oz) soft butter, plus extra for the sauce

200g (8oz) small onions or shallots, whole and peeled

150g (5oz) button mushrooms

2 carrots, cut into chunks

1 stick celery, cut into chunks

Bouquet garni (bay leaf, thyme, parsley stalks, black peppercorns)

500ml (18fl oz) chicken stock

300ml (? pt) white wine

25g (1oz) plain flour

2tbsp double creamC

hopped fresh parsley, for garnish

If you’re cooking your chicken casserole with wine, try to use the same wine as the one you’re drinking.

In a large cast-iron casserole or frying pan, heat a little oil and brown the chicken pieces all over, then transfer to a plate (you may need to do this in batches). Brown the bacon and put on the plate with the chicken. Add a knob of butter to the oil in the casserole and gently brown the onions and mushrooms, before adding the chicken and bacon back into the casserole.Add the carrot, celery, bouquet garni, chicken stock and wine to the chicken and season well. Cover and transfer to a preheated oven at 170?C (325?F, gas mark 3) for 30-40 mins.With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large dish and keep warm. Mix the flour and butter together to form a paste (called a beurre manie).Bring the sauce in the casserole to the boil and add a small amount of the beurre manie to it, whisking continuously until dissolved. The mixture should begin to thicken. Add the rest of the beurre manie a little at a time until you have reached the desired thickness (you may not need all of it).Stir in the double cream, then pour over the chicken and sprinkle with some chopped parsley. 

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