Casseroles & stews

chickcass4.jpgIt is the time of year when we need to eat warming food that makes us feel good and are easy to prepare , bung in the oven and leave while we do other chores.Of course you do not have to stick to the original recipe,just add other ingredients you may have in the store cupboard…This type of recipe is never the same twice!

Chicken , leek and white wine casserole


You can use a whole chicken jointed for this recipe.I also like adding any type of beans to this recipe.

 Serves 6

2kg /4lb chicken pieces

60g/2oz plain flour seasoned

3tbs oil

4 slices bacon roughly chopped

2 leeks

2celery sticks

2 cloves garlic crushed

2 carrots cut into thin strips

1 bay leaf

375ml/12fl oz chicken stock

250ml/8fl oz white wine


  • Toss the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour and shake off the excess.Heat the oil in a heavy based pan and cook the chicken pieces quickly in batches until well browned.Drain on  paper towels.

  • Cook the bacon for 3 minutes or until brown.Drain on paper towels .Drain the excess fat from the pan,leaving about 2tbs

  • Cut the leeks and celery into strips ,add to the pan with the garlic.Cook stirring until the leek is soft.

  • Add the chicken,bacon,carrot,bay leaf stock and wine.

  • Bring to the boil ,reduce the heat and simmer covered for 30 minutes.

  • Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until thickened slightly.

Beef paprika


Serves 4 – 6

800g/1lb 10oz stewing steak or casserole steak

 or 60g/2oz plain flour

2tbs oil

2 onions chopped

1 – 2 cloves garlic chopped(optional)

2 tbs sweet paprika

125ml/4fl oz red wine

1tbs tomato paste

425 g /14oz can tomatoes

200g/7 oz button mushrooms

125ml/4fl oz  beef stock

80g/2 oz sour cream.


  • Cut the chicken into small pieces.Season the flour with salt & pepper.Toss the chicken pieces in the flour .Shake off the excess and reserve the flour.

  • Heat half the oil in a large pan and cook the chicken pieces quickly in small batches over a medium heat..Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.

  • Heat the remaining oil in the pan and add the onion and garlic,cook stirring until soft.

  • Add the paprika and reserved flour and stir for 1 minute.

  • Add the chicken,wine,tomato paste and undrained can of tomatoes.Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes.

  • Add the mushrooms and chicken stock.Simmer covered for a further 10 minutes.Add the sour cream and stir until heated through ,but do not allow to boil because of the cream. 

Spicy chicken and beans


This can be made with any left over uncooked chicken bits ,you could also add bacon for extra flavour and mix in.

1tbs oil

4 spring onions ,finely chopped

1 celery stick chopped

1 chilli seeded and chopped

500g/1lb chicken mince

3 cloves garlic

qtr tsp ground cinnamon

qtr tsp chilli powder

1tsp ground cumin

2tsp plain flour

425g/14oz tin tomatoes

125ml/4fl oz chicken stock

2 300g butter beans drained (or dried beans soaked and cooked)

2tsp soft brown sugar

15g/half oz chopped fresh coriander


  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan,add the spring onion and cook until softened.Add the celery and chilli and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.

  • Increase the heat and add the mince and brown breaking up any lumps of meat with a fork.

  • Stir in the crushed garlic,cinnamon,chilli powder and cumin,cook for 1 minute.

  • Add the flour to the pan and stir well.

  • Stir in the chopped tomatoes and stock.Bring the mixture to the boil,reduce the heat and simmer,covered for about 15 minutes.

  • Add the beans to the pan and simmer for a further 15 minutes or until the mixture is reduced to a thick sauce.Add the sugar and season to taste.

  • Just before serving scatter the coriander over the top.

Chicken mole


This is a traditional Mexican dish,usually flavoured with a special type of dark chocolate rather than cocoa powder.It is also low in calories with only about 220 calories per portion.

Serves 4

8 chicken drumsticks

plain flour for dusting

cooking oil spray

1 large onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1tsp chilli powder

2 tsp cocoa powder

440g/14oz tin tomatoes roughly chopped

440ml/14fl oz tomato puree

250ml/8fl oz chicken stock.


  • Remove and discard the chicken skin.Wipe chicken with paper towels and dust with flour.

  • Spray a large , deep , non stick pan with oil.Cook the chicken for 8 minutes over a high heat ,turning until golden brown.Remove and set aside.

  • Add the onion,garlic,cumin,chilli powder,cocoa,1 tsp salt,half tsp ground black pepper and 60ml/2fl oz of water to the pan and cook for 5 minutes or until softened.

  • Stir in the tomatoes,tomato puree and chicken stock.Bring to the boil ,then add the chicken drumsticks,cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until tender.Uncover and simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture is thick…..Delicious with kidney beans.

Lamb madras


This is an extremely hot dry lamb curry from Southern India.The heat can be adjusted by reducing the amount of chilli , fresh or powdered. I know it is not in the casserole category but I think it is a nice recipe to put in.

1 tbs mustard oil or butter

1 onion peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed

2 fresh green chillies seeded and sliced

2tsp chilli powder

2tsp garam masala……see bottom of recipe.

450g/1lb lean lamb cut into 1 inch cubes

1 tbs vinegar

2 tomatoes ,skinned,seeded and chopped

1tbs desiccated coconut flakes.


  • Heat the oil or butter in a heavy based frying pan and stir fry the onion ,garlic,fresh chillies and chilli powder for 2 minutes.

  • Add the garam masala ,then the lamb ,vinegar ,salt and tomatoes.Stir thoroughly.

  • Cover the pan and cook for 30 minutes over a moderate heat ,adding a little water or lemon juice if it looks like drying out or sticking.

  • Transfer to a heated serving dish and scatter with coconut.


Garam masala

You can buy ready made garam masala,but if you like here is the recipe for your own.

1 – 3 tsp ground cardamom seeds

1 – 2 inch ground cinnamon stick

half – 1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cumin seeds

1 tsp grated nutmeg

1 – 2 ground black pepper.

Mix the ingredients together.








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