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The Joy That Is The One-Pot Wonder

The very implications of this title fill me with joy. They are easy, quick and there’s absolutely no fighting over the washing up.  One-pot wonders are perfect when the temperature has dropped outside or if indeed you want a wholesome comfort dish and nothing else will do. They can be classed as stews or casseroles and are filling, hearty and satisfying and appeal to most palates. Cooking them slowly over a low gentle heat or in a low oven for a couple of hours till the aromas fill your home is one of most welcoming things you can experience.

When cooking stews it’s best to choose a large heavy bottom pot which can withstand long cooking times without burning or food sticking to the pot. The lid should be tight fitting so the liquid does not evaporate whilst cooking. Casserole pots should be ovenproof and also have a tight-fitting lid, I find Le Creuset or cast iron pots are great for all one pot wonders.

I find the best way to impart even more flavour to your one-pot wonder is to brown and seal the meat before the slow cooking starts and this applies to poultry and all types of meat. 

This particular chicken recipe is actually great any time of the year. 

I used chicken thighs in this recipe as they really do add so much flavor especially when they are pan fried initially, browning and crisping the skin. You can use chicken breasts if you prefer leaner meat.  The addition of cream really gives that unctuous richness to this dish but you can use crème fraiche if you prefer.   You can serve this dish with any pasta but I like to serve it with fusilli or tagliatelle or alternatively you can serve it with mashed potato.

Italian chicken and red pepper casserole

Serves 6

Ingredients 

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

20g butter

6 chicken thighs

2 medium onions (chopped finely)

3 red peppers (de-seeded and cut into chunks)

200g button mushrooms (quartered)

3 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2 tsp dried basil

300ml chicken stock

1 can chopped tomatoes

150ml white wine

8 tbsp cream 

3 tbsp parsley to garnish

10 black olives to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the rapeseed oil and  the butter in an oven-proof pot.  Add the chicken thighs to the pot in 2 batches and cook until golden brown on both sides.  Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  2. Add the onion to the pot, fry over a medium heat, when it begins to soften add in the garlic and stir around.  Add in the peppers and mushrooms to the pan and cook for 3 minutes.  Add in the chopped tomatoes and basil.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°c.  Transfer the cooked vegetables and juices to an oven proof dish, arrange the chicken on top.
  4. Pour the wine and stock over the chicken. Cover the casserole dish and cook for 40 minutes.
  5. Pour the cream in to the casserole, cook for 10 more minutes.
  6. Garnish with chopped parsley and olives (optional) Serve with your favorite pasta or creamy mashed potato. 

 

Feature By: Jennifer Oppermann

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