Chicken and Tenderstem® Casserole with Herby Cheddar Dumplings
A robust winter casserole packed with goodness.
This dish is perfect for all the family to enjoy. Once cooked, cut into small bite-size pieces for little ones or serve it straight out of the pot for everyone else – it can even be puréed for babies, and any leftovers freeze really well. The best thing though is that there really is no need to worry about having to prepare any side dishes or vegetable accompaniments – you have all you need in the casserole. It’s delicious, easy to make and there’s very little washing up to do, which is of course a huge bonus.
10 minutes preparation
60 minutes cooking
For the caserole
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 200g unsmoked lardons or pancetta, diced
- 8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Salt and pepper to season
- 4 shallots (or 6 if they are small), peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, sliced into 1 cm pieces
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 cm pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 500ml chicken stock
- 200g Tenderstem® each stalk cut into 2
For the dumplings:
- 100g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 140g butter, cubed
- 100g mature cheddar, finely grated
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 medium eggs, lightly beaten
- Salt and pepper to season
- You will also need an ovenproof casserole dish with a lid.
Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/Gas mark 4.
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large casserole over a low heat and add the lardons or pancetta. Cook until they are golden and slightly crunchy. Remove from the casserole dish with a slotted spoon and sit on a piece of kitchen paper.
Toss the chicken in the flour and season well with salt and pepper. This can either be done in a bowl or, to make the job really easy, toss together in a large freezer bag. Add to the casserole dish and fry over a high heat until browned all over. Remove from the casserole and then add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil.
Add the shallots, celery and carrot and cook for a few minutes until the shallots are softened, then return the lardons and chicken to the casserole, along with the bay leaf, tomato puree and chicken stock. Stir to mix everything together, and then bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
While the casserole is cooking you can prepare the dumplings. Place the flour, breadcrumbs and butter in a food processor and blitz to a crumb consistency. Add the cheese, thyme, eggs and seasoning. Briefly blitz until the mixture forms a fairly moist dough. Using floured hands, shape the dough into 12 even sized balls.
After 30 minutes of cooking the casserole, remove from the oven and stir in the Tenderstem®. Sit the dumplings on top and return the casserole to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes, without the lid this time, until the dumplings are lightly and golden. Serve hot.