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Overwhelmed by the flavour of onions

vegetable and chicken casseroleI found a pack of eight chicken legs knocked down to £1.49 in Waitrose on Sunday.

My mother peered at the pack. “They look awfully thin and scrawny.”
“I don’t care! Slow cooked with loads of vegetables they’ll make a great chicken casserole.”
“Well, I’m going to buy these chicken thighs.” She reached for a substantial full priced pack, tempting and plump.

Rising to the challenge, I rushed home and madly chopped vegetables.  I filled the slow cooker (crock pot) to the brim and then I pressed in the svelte chicken legs and topped the pot up with a herby hot chicken stock. It looked so promising that I took this photograph when everything was waiting under starters orders. It bubbled away all evening.

I returned from work the next day feeling a bit peaky. The prospect of a delicate chicken dish promised to be the perfect supper. When I opened the fridge door I was hit by the acrid smell of onions. A teeny sample confirmed in a nanno second that I had overdosed on the onion front. This had been moved into top gear by the addition of a giant leek.

Inadvertently, I’d created eight portions of strong onion casserole with healthy chopped vegetables and a smattering of chicken. Suddenly I regretted scorning my mother’s pack of plump, succulent chicken thighs.

Whilst Danny happily pottered upstairs dreaming of tasty chicken hotpot, I spun below trying to turn the onion mixture into something more palatable. In the end I turned to “Yahoo answers” and discovered that the addition of potato would diffuse the heavy onion taste. Unfortunately, it was a bit late to cook some potatoes by this stage. So I followed some of the other suggestions. I added a teaspoonful of brown sugar and two teaspoonfuls of lemon juice. These worked well. But we ate an unusual supper comprising of rice and some sort of chickeny onion soup, with a splash of cream.

Danny made encouraging noises but I was really disappointed. Like everyone, I want my new recipes to be perfect every time.

I woke this morning longing to jettison the rest of this dish. Any suggestions for neutralising the onion taste in the other six portions would be welcomed with open arms.


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  1. I know Im late, but… next time you are going to make a chicken dish you could skip the onion part & add a portion of this instead… adding it partway through the time in the slowcooker might be the go.

  2. Fiona Nevile

    Thank you so much everyone for your suggestions!

    We’ve decided to divide up the mixture, freeze it in portions and try as many of the suggestions as possible as we nearly came to blows over the next move.

    Brilliant. Thank you all so much. Suddenly I’m inspired by the oniony waft when I open the fridge. Thank you.

  3. Patricia

    Why not do a combination of a couple of the suggestions above.

    (1) drain the broth and use it to boil up a diced potato or two.
    (2) add a couple of mushrooms sliced thin.
    (3) treat it like a chicken & dumplings recipe – that is make herb biscuits and drop on the top of the pot after readding the broth – allow them to cook on the top of the covered “soup” for about 10-14 minutes. Then out come the biscuits, put them on the bottom of each bowl, put the now thickened broth and veggies & chicken on top and enjoy.

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