Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A meal in quick time without horse meat! Quick Chicken Casserole

 
 
No horse meat here. Whilst horse meat is perfectly edible it might be nice if you had a choice as to whether you want to eat it or not. However, I can't say I am surprised that ready meals aren't all what they seem. Last time where I was in the position where I had to have one, it tasted cack. Frankly. I'd rather have a sandwich.
 
But it's quick isn't it? Five minutes (if that) and ding, dinner's ready. Now, I know this doesn't taste five minutes - more like thirty - but once everything is in the pot you can spend a little time doing other stuff - kid stuff if you're me - and then, dinner's ready. And you know what's in it, because you cooked it. Who knew?
 
Also, I am not sure that ready meals are really that cheap. I've seen people paying a significant amount to buy enough of them to feed a family. Now, I haven't done the maths but I reckon if I did, then this would probably come in for less than what you would pay for something that requires you to pierce the film lid. Richer in pocket, richer in diet. Brilliant.
 
This is a BBC GoodFood recipe, slightly tweaked. The result was a meal that was satisfying and creamy and the addition of some crusty bread to mop up the creamy chickeny tarragony juices was a pretty great idea. If you are not in touch with your inner Francophile, or else your kids think it tastes weird and aniseedy, leave it out and check for seasoning.
 
Quick Chicken Casserole, adapted from BBC GoodFood
 
Serves Lola, Finn, Mum and Dad, generously
 
My adaptions in red
 
Ingredients:
 
4 large or 6 small skinless chicken thigh fillets (I bought chicken thighs and spent about five minutes skinning and de-boning them)
3 shallots, quartered (I used a large onion)
1 carrot, sliced
8 new potatoes or salad potatoes, skin left on and halved or quartered if large
500ml chicken stock , fresh, cube or concentrate
1 cupful peas
1 tin of cannellini beans, drained
a small bunch of tarragon, chopped (Shoot me down - I used Barts' chopped tarragon which is jarred in olive oil which was being sold off for 42p in the supermarket)
1 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche (optional) (I used a tbsp of cream)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 
Method:
 
 
 
Put the chicken thighs, shallots, carrot, potatoes, some seasoning and the stock in a wide casserole and bring to a simmer. (Actually, I browned the chicken in a little olive oil before I added the rest of the ingredients. I am not keen on anaemic looking meat).
 
 
 
Cover and cook for 15 minutes, then add the peas, cannellini beans and tarragon and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
 
Stir in the cream if you like and taste or seasoning.
 
 
 
Serve in massive bowls with some crusty bread.
 

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