Hairy Dieters: Old-Fashioned Chicken and vegetable stew

Photo 15-03-2013 13 23 21

I have bought myself my very first casserole pot. Now, there are casserole pots/dishes in the house but I wanted my own one (as silly as that probably sounds). So, after purchasing my pot, I found the perfect excuse to make one of the recipes from the Hairy Dieters/Bikers book!

Chicken & vegetable stew

The reason I decided on this particular meal was down to a few factors:

  1. I had a new pot 
  2. I had a new pot
  3. I had a new pot
  4. It’s from a diet book
  5. I love the Hairy Bikers

The addition of the cider and bacon gave the stew quite a sweet taste, which went well with the chicken as well. The meat fell straight off the bone, with was simply gorgeous. This is a very nice meal for a cold winter’s evening, so I definitely would advise you make it. Much like their golden vegetable soup, this too doesn’t feel like guilty eating, so go ahead and enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp plain flour (keep the flour bag near by as you may need a touch more)
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 4-6 chicken drumsticks or leg quarters
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil (you may need a dash more)
  • 4 rashers of smoked back bacon, cut into 1 cm-wide strips (fat removed)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
  • 150 g small chestnut mushrooms, sliced or quartered
  • 500 ml bottle of dry cider (I used Savanna)
  • 300 ml chicken stock, make with 1 chicken stock cube
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400 g Chantenay or other small fat carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • 2 slender leeks, trimmed and cut into 2 cm slices
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper

Method:

  1. Mix the flour and thyme with salt and pepper in a large sandwich/freezer bag. Strip off the skin of the chicken and break the joint of each leg. If like me you used drumsticks, keep them whole. 
  2. Put each portion into the bag, and shake well until evenly coated in the flour. Photo 15-03-2013 12 35 00
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan, over a medium heat, and fry the chicken until golden brown. As they brown, transfer to your lovely lovely casserole dish.
  4. Preheat the oven 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4.
  5. Put the bacon, onions, and celery in the pan used for the chicken, and fry for 5 minutes. They should become lightly browned, so stir often. Photo 15-03-2013 13 07 49
  6. Add the mushrooms, and cook for a further 2-4 minutes more.
  7. Tip everything into your casserole dish, and sprinkle in the remaining flour from the freezer bag – stir well.
  8. Pour half of the cider into the frying pan, and stir with a wooden spoon to lift any sediment from the bottom. This gives it wonderful flavour! Simmer for a few seconds, then pour into your dish. Add the rest of the cider and the stock, then stir in the carrots and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer on the hob.
  9. Cover with the lid and place in the centre of the oven to cook for 1 hour, remove from the oven, and stir in the leeks.
  10. Put it back in the oven and cook for a further 40 minutes, with the sauce becoming thicker.
  11. Enjoy! Photo 15-03-2013 18 58 32 (1)
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