Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Chicken casserole

Once upon a time I only bought organic chicken and vegetables.  I was lucky enough to have a lifestyle that could support buying luxury ingredients without thinking about the cost. Now I don't have the budget but still believe in eating well.

Sainsbury's are currently selling 500g bags of frozen chicken breast pieces at 2 for £5.  That's 1kg of chicken breast for a fiver!! And it's British chicken.  I thought it was worth investigating.  I also picked up a pack of reduced veg with Jersey Royal potatoes, Tenderstem broccoli and Chantenay carrots for £1.25.  So I created a chicken casserole for well under a fiver that feeds 4 :-)

Chicken Casserole

500g frozen chicken breasts, defrosted and cut into large chunks
1 pack mixed veg
1 onion, chopped into large chunks
1 red pepper, chopped into large chunks
500ml of apple juice
hot veg stock

Chop the pepper and onion to roughly the same size as the potatoes and carrots so they cook evenly.

The chicken comes in fairly big pieces (not a whole breast) so chop them into big chunks so they don't fall apart in the cooking.

Brown the chicken in a large non stick pan (I use a wok) with a tiny drop of oil.
Put chicken into a large casserole.

Add a little bit more oil to the pan and add all the veg except the broccoli.  Gently fry for a few minutes until the veg is well coated and sizzling.
Add the apple juice and bring to the boil.  You could also use cider (I didn't have any!!)

Carefully pour everything into the casserole. 
Add enough hot stock to make sure everything is covered in liquid.
Put the lid on and put in a hot oven for 45 mins.
Check veg is tender and chicken is cooked through.
Remove from oven.

Add the broccoli and replace the lid for 5 to 10 mins.  Don't put back in oven. Let the broccoli steam in the casserole's own heat.
Serve with crusty bread.

I can confirm it reheats beautifully the next day.

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