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The slow cooker chef: Chicken and red pepper casserole recipe

 

Photo: Chicken casserole

Photo: Chicken casserole

The best piece of kitchen equipment that I bought in 2008 was my slow cooker. I found mine in a sale at Tesco and had no idea how much more flavoursome slow cooking can be.

So why did I buy one? I had been seduced by Angela and the thought of slow cooked steak and kidney. Initially I reckoned that I would just use it in the winter but it’s used all year round now and saves us lots of cash as the electricity used to run it is minimal. And most things do taste better when they are slow cooked. Now I’ve got to grips with how to cook with it I use it all the time. I like having it bubbling away on the side.

I found a pack of 7 free range chicken legs and thighs on the Tesco CFC marked down to £1.75 and decided to make a chicken casserole. I bought some fabulous Portobello mushrooms and red bell peppers in the market – I wanted to create a dish full of subtle flavours. If it had been summer I probably would have used button mushrooms but the meatiness of the Portobello mushrooms was a perfect foil for the sweet peppers in a winter casserole. These need to be added right at the end of the cooking time so they still retain some firmness. I added mine the next day when I heated up the casserole.

Not all slow cooking takes hours and hours. In fact this chicken casserole took just a couple of hours. I let it cool overnight for the flavours to develop even more and we guzzled it the night that Danny returned from France. I popped the other half in the freezer for a night when we don’t feel like cooking from scratch. If you let it chill overnight you can easily remove any fat the next day if you are on a low fat diet.

Chicken and red pepper casserole (for 4 people)

Ingredients:

4 chicken legs (rolled in plain flour)
3 chicken thighs (rolled in plain flour)
380g red bell peppers deseeded and diced
2 stalks of celery sliced
8 cherry plum tomatoes halved
Pinch of mace
Half a teaspoonful of mixed herbs
1 tsp of garlic granules
1.5 tbsp of mushroom ketchup
1 tbsp of red wine
850ml of hot stock (made with one chicken and one vegetable stock cube)
Decent dash of ground black pepper just before serving
125g Portobello mushrooms chopped and added ten minutes before serving

4 tsp of corn flour to thicken the sauce at the end

Method:

Prepare the vegetables and put them in the base of the slow cooker.

Roll the chicken legs and thighs in flour and place these on top of the vegetables.

Add the herbs, garlic, mushroom ketchup, mace and red wine.

Add the hot stock – this should just cover the chicken pieces. Put the lid of the slow cooker on and switch to auto.

This should be ready in about two hours.

Skim off some juices and mix with the corn flour and return the paste to the slow cooker and stir well. Add the mushrooms to the simmering casserole ten minutes before serving.

We ate this with red Camargue rice. Delicious.


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1 Comment

  1. I used to have a slow cooker, but left it when I moved out of my old house, thinking I didn’t have enough space in my kitchen. I was right about the space, but I wish I’d taken my slow cooker, I would happily store it in my wardrobe, especially as I know that it’s just gathering dust at my Ex’s. Oh well. Lovely looking casserole. Merry Christmas.

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