I’m not going to lie to you this does take a bit of time if you want it to taste ridiculously amazing. If you just want it to taste well good as my mate would say then you can do it a slightly quicker way by leaving it on the hob.
I went for the 3 hours in the oven approach. One, because I had the time (even though actual time spent ‘cooking’ is only about 30 mins including preparation) and two because I bought myself a fancy new cast iron saucepan. My love for Victorias basement continues, although my wallets love for it does not.
Anyway I was celebrating getting this pan so my first thought went to a casserole of some sort. It’s starting to get a bit chilly outside and it’s always good to warm the cockles. Not sure where my cockles are but consider them suitably warmed.
So if you want to do this properly it will take some time but like I said it’s only about 30 mins of time spent in the kitchen. The rest of the time you can chill out, do chores, watch a good movie or dance around or something.
Keep everything chopped roughly. We want it nice and rustic so don’t worry about fancy fine chopping for this. You will need;
Good quality organic free range chicken legs. I used 9 legs for these quantities but vary it deepening on the size of your pan and how many people you are feeding.
Garlic – peeled but left whole – 4-5 cloves
Onion – roughly sliced
Carrots – halved then roughly chopped
Sweet potato – diced into 2cm bits
Courgettes – sliced into inch sliced
Mushrooms – roughly chopped
1Lt of good chicken or vegetable stock
a tiny bit of plain flour, about 1 tablespoon
good quality sea salt – I use Maldon salt. It’s amazing.
Pepper – freshly ground stuff please. The pre ground stuff just doesn’t have the flavour
fresh thyme – a good handful
Potatoes for the mash
butter for the mash
Good quality extra virgin olive oil
1. Ok so get your pan hot and add a good lug of olive oil, add the garlic then add the chicken legs and brown of slightly on all sides. This should only take a few mins.
Remove the chicken to a plate then add the onions then the sweet potato and a pinch of salt and a few twists of pepper.
Cook these off for about 5 mins then add the courgette and the mushrooms and a bit more seasoning.
Give this 3-4 more mins then add a sprinkle of plain flour, mix well for about 2 mins then add a bunch of fresh thyme,
Now add the chicken legs back to the pan. Now pour over the stock, stir put the lid on and pop in the oven on about 140-150°C for about 3 hours.
2. That’s pretty much it really. I did add a bit too much stock when I did it so after about 1.5 hours I removed about half the liquid into another small pan and put it on a gentle simmer to reduce. The big pan goes back in the oven for the remaining 1.5 hours. The amount of stock you need will depend on the pan size and how much you are cooking so if you think you have too much stock do what I did then add the reduced stock in at the end.
3. After 2.5 hours get your potatoes on. Once they are ready mash with a little butter, some milk, a pinch of salt and pepper and a little sprinkle of fresh parsley if you have it.
4. Remove the pan from the oven. If you’ve removed some stock and reduced it then add this back in and stir very gently. At this point with a fork smush the carrot and sweet potato. This will thicken the sauce nicely. If you can find them then mash up the garlic cloves too. They will probably have disintegrated into the casserole anyway so don’t worry too much.
Serve on a plate with the mash. Add some peas or green beans if you have them and want a few more veggies.
Sorted. Really healthy and super tasty and the chicken is juicy and falls off the bone.