Sunday, March 03, 2013

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Vegetable Stew

Probably my favourite so far. And I don't like stews. Or cider. I am trying to work out how soon I can get away with doing this one again. And sure I need a proper hob/oven casserole dish in its honour.



Ok, wiping away the drool.


  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 chicken leg quarters
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 rashers of smoked back bacon, cut into 1cm wide strips
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
  • 500ml bottle of dry cider
  • 300ml chicken stock, made with 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400g Chanteney or other small fat carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • 2 slender leeks, trimmed and cut into 2cm slices
  • sea salt
  • ground pepper

  1. Mix the flour and thyme with a good pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper in a large strong freezer bag. Strip the skin off the chicken legs and put them on a board. Break the joint of each leg by bending it in the opposite direction. You may hear a small crack. Cut each leg quarter in half with a sturdy knife to give 8 chicken portions. Using a good set of kitchen scissors, trim off any visible fat.
  2. Put the chicken portions in the freezer bag, a few at a time and shake well until they are evenly coated in the flour. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, until golden brown all over. As they are browned transfer the chicken pieces to a large flameproof casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 180/Fan 160/Gas 4.
  3. Put the bacon, onions and celery in the pan used for browning the chicken and fry for 4-5 minutes over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring often. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more, then tip everything into the casserole dish with the chicken pieces. Sprinkle in any flour remaining in the freezer bag and stir well.
  4. Pour about half the cider into the frying pan and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to lift any sediment from the bottom. Simmer for a few seconds, then pour into the casserole. Add the rest of the cider and the stock, then stir in the carrots and bay leaves and bring to a simmer on the hob.
  5. Cover with a lid and cook in the centre of the oven for 1 hour, then remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the leeks. Pop the dish back into the oven for a further 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is tender and the sauce thickened. Serve with some green beans or spring greens.



I had chicken thighs in, and so used those instead - worked out at 37 ProPoints for the recipe, or 9 per portion. And WOW, it was worth it. So tasty.

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