This is a great creamy chicken casserole with some tasty cheese and bacon scone-like dumplings as a topping. It’s ideal comfort food for a winter evening, but we enjoy it in the summer too. (If we waited for cold weather to eat this kind of food in Perth then we would be waiting a long time!)
The recipe originally came from the May 2010 issue of Recipes+ magazine and I must admit that I have made only a few adapations because it’s so good! I do cheat slightly and use a can of champignons (small mushrooms) but you can use fresh button mushrooms instead if you can’t get champignons.
Ingredients – serves 4:
- approx 500g/18oz skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- dried garlic granules (approx 1 teaspoon), OR 2 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
- 2 tbspn plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken stock (either ready-made or mix a stock cube with water)
- 1 cup cream
- 1 tbspn wholegrain mustard
- 190g/7oz can of Champignons Pieces & Stems, OR 190g/7oz fresh button mushrooms, sliced
- approx 10 sun-dried tomatoes (from a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil), sliced
- dried mixed herbs and pepper, to season
- half a medium butternut pumpkin/squash, diced
Cheese & Bacon Scones to top the casserole:
- 75g/3oz diced bacon bits (called lardons in the UK)
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 25g/1oz butter, chopped into small pieces and softened slightly
- 50g/2oz grated cheese
- milk (approx 1/2 cup)
- Spray a large non-stick frying pan with some cooking spray, then cook the bacon bits for 5 minutes or until browned. Remove to a plate.
- Put the flour (you can sift if you want) into a medium bowl with the chopped butter.
- Rub together the flour and butter until it vaguely resembles fine crumbs.
- Stir in the cheese and the bacon.
- Slowly add splashes of milk to the dry ingredients and mix until you get a soft but not too sticky dough. Leave in the bowl to rest whilst you prepare the casserole.
- Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan forced/390F.
- In the frying pan, cook the chicken pieces for 2-3 minutes, stirring until seared all over. Remove to a plate.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened.
- Stir in the plain flour and cook for 1 minute.
- In a large jug, whisk together the cream, stock and mustard.
- Gradually stir the cream mixture into the onion and flour in the frying pan, until combined and smooth.
- Add the diced pumpkin to the pan and cook for 2 minutes.
- Return the chicken pieces to the pan, and add the champignons/mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.
- Add a sprinkling of dried mixed herbs and a little pepper.
- Bring to a gentle boil and then remove from the heat.
- Spray an ovenproof dish with a little cooking spray, then carefully tip the contents of the frying pan into the dish.
- Roll small balls of the scone mix using your hands – the balls should be smaller than a golf ball. Flatten each one slightly and place on top of the casserole.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the scones are golden brown.
- Serve with peas or green beans.