I quite enjoy cooking, I like the aromas and watching the way ingredients transform during the cooking process. I love watching my children embrace a meal with gusto, declaring it "my most favouritst dinner ever." But some days I lack prolificness, it's all same old same old, and my love begins to wane.
The following dish was discovered in the first copy of ABC Delicious that I purchased (and I am since hooked on these wonderful magazines) and was classed as a tv dinner by the talented Bill Granger. I adore making this dish, everything about it makes my heart sing, the sizzling, the smells which fill my kitchen, the satisfying way that the chicken turns a deep golden and the glorious combination of oil, butter, onions, garlic and thyme followed by potato, celeriac and bacon - mmmm, now I'm starting to get hungry.
I do hope that you'll give it a try, I promise that you will not be disappointed.
Bill Granger's Chicken Casserole
1.6 kg (large) chicken, cut into 8 pieces (or I use 4 chicken Marylands, cut into 8 pieces)
1 tbs olive oil
20g unsalted butter
8 pickling onions, peeled, trimmed
12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 sprigs thyme
8 kipfler potatoes, peeled, cut into equal sized chunks
1 small celeriac bulb, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes ( I have used celery sticks but a celeriac bulb is much nicer)
200g button mushrooms, halved
2 bacon rashers, rinds removed, chopped
2 cups (500ml) chicken stock
2 tbs finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
Green salad, to serve (if you so choose)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Season chicken well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in an ovenproof casserole dish (with lid) over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned, turning once or twice (word of warning - the chicken will splatter hot oil everywhere...but it's worth the mess). Remove chicken and set aside.
Pour all but one tablespoon of oil from the dish. Add butter, onions, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes (and enjoy, this is one of my favourite parts of this dish). Add potatoes, celeriac and bacon, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and chicken and stir well. Add stock, bring to the boil and place in oven. Bake for 25 minutes, uncovered, stirring casserole once during cooking.
Mix parsley and lemon rind in a bowl and sprinkle over chicken when serving.
Now grab your beverage of choice and dig in. Yummo.