This is the easiest casserole recipe you’ll ever see, but don’t be fooled; the homemade chicken stock supercharges the flavour, giving it a punch that is completely out of all proportion to the effort.
As the chicken thighs need slow cooking over a long period this is an ideal candidate for a slow cooker. Just throw the ingredients in before you go out and you’ll have a hearty casserole waiting for you when you get home.
1. Chicken thighs are much cheaper than breast fillets and are far more flavoursome, so you can afford to buy free-range for a guilt-free meal. I wouldn’t bother skinning or boning them; just use them whole. You’ll be cooking them for a couple of hours so any sinew or fat will melt down and enrich the gravy even further.
2. Add the chicken thighs and carrots to a heatproof dish or slow cooker and cover with the stock. You can add a glug of white wine if you’ve got some but it isn’t essential. Toss in a couple of bay leaves and the carrots, put the lid on and pop it in the oven. If you’re in a hurry you can put it in a hot oven (180°C/360°F) for 2 hours but if not then 110°C/230°F for 3-4 hours will make it even nicer.
3. When it has finished cooking, add a couple of teaspoons of cornflour to a small amount of cold water and stir into the casserole. If you like your gravy a bit thicker you can add more but it’s best to start slowly.
4. Season to taste and throw in the frozen peas. Pop back in the oven for five minutes while you mash some potatoes.
5. Serve while piping hot.
You could add a handful of sliced or button mushrooms for a chicken and mushroom casserole, or substitute beef and beef stock if you prefer.
The key to a good casserole is the long, slow cooking, so cheap cuts of meat are excellent; shin beef or neck of lamb works very, very well!
See more of our chicken recipes