Slow cooked French(ish) Casserole

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November 2, 2013 by cucchiano

This is a recipe that I came up with this week as the temperature dropped and the need for comfort food kicked in.  It was an experiment based purely on the contents of my fridge and the anticipation of a very long day at work.  I threw all the ingredients all in my slow cooker but you could quite easily do this on the hob instead if you prefer.  It’s “French-ish” purely because I was aiming for a French style casserole but decided to add the rather less traditional peppers at the last minute.  

This will serve two generously but by shredding the chicken breasts (or by using leftover roast chicken) I think you could make this stretch to four servings.  Equally, you might decide to omit the baby potatoes and pile the stew on top of a buttery jacket potato.  This recipe has the added benefit of being as kind to your pocket as it is to your stomach – it works out at somewhere between £1-2 per head if it serves four.  

Ingredients

Olive Oil 

2 skinless chicken breasts

4 rashers of smoky bacon (chopped into pieces)

1 carrot (chopped into large chunks)

1 white onion

8 new potatoes (left whole)

1 large handful of frozen chopped peppers

3 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 x 400 gram tin of cannellini beans (drained)

2 x 400 gram tins of tomatoes 

1 tablespoon dried thyme 

1 tablespoon dried oregano 

2 dried bay leaves

1 chicken stock cube

Salt and pepper to season

Recipe

  1. Warm the slow cooker by turning it on to the “low” setting.  
  2. Meanwhile spritz a frying pan on a medium heat with olive oil (or heat up a drizzle in the pan).  
  3. Place the whole chicken breasts into the frying pan and brown the chicken on both sides.  
  4. Remove the browned chicken breasts into the slow cooker.  
  5. In the same frying pan fry the bacon until golden and crispy and place into the slow cooker.  
  6. Pour the tomatoes, drained beans, frozen peppers, onion, carrot, new potatoes, garlic, bay leaves, oregano and thyme on top of the bacon and chicken.  Crumble in the chicken stock cube and season with salt and pepper.  Half-fill one of the empty tomato tins with water and add this to the mixture.  Stir gently to combine all the ingredients together.  
  7. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  If you need to leave it longer don’t worry – it will happily continue to bubble away.  
  8. When you’re ready check the stew to see whether it needs further seasoning.  If you want to shred the chicken then now is the time – it will fall apart.  
  9. Serve as it comes or with a jacket spud.  
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