There is something so satisfying about getting all the components of one meal into a single casserole. Anything which can be eaten from a bowl and minimises the washing up, is instantly comfort food to me. Weekday or weekend, such fare is always welcome at our table. Plus you can scale this Chicken with Greens, Bay and Potatoes up just by using a larger casserole to feed a family.
Chicken thighs are a fantastic protein to have in your freezer. They have a rich chicken flavour and when seared then essentially poached in stock, they are fork tender and melt in the mouth. The delicate fragrance of fresh bay leaves with a little garlic and some dijon mustard for a bit of pep compliments the chicken very well. It can be tempting to empty your herb supply into a stew or casserole but I like to keep it pared back and allow the chicken to be the star. Finely shredded leeks and pointed cabbage provide the vegetable quotient of this meal and little baby new potatoes provide the carbs. One thing to bare in mind is potatoes cook most evenly when started off in cold water but adding a stock cube to the water means you’re seasoning them from the start and as long as they are scrubbed clean to begin with, using the stock to produce the sauce in this one pot dish is more than ok in my book. You can mix up a fresh batch of stock if you prefer – I quite like that it has a little starch in it which helps thicken the creamy sauce of the final dish. If you want a chunk of crusty bread to mop up the sauce when you’re finished, you’d fit in right nice down at the Apple Chapel for dinner ?
- 1 medium leek trimmed, cleaned and finely sliced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 5 skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 1/2 a pointed cabbage shredded finely
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 3 bay leaves fresh if you can
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 1-2 tsp dijon mustard
- 200 g baby new potatoes scrubbed clean
- One stock cube chicken or veg
- 1 tbsp cornflour
Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Crumble in the stock cube. Bring to the boil and cook until almost fully cooked (i.e. yield to the point of a knife with a little resistance). Drain well but reserve the stock .
Heat the oil and soften the leeks.
Add in the chicken and brown on both sides.
Add in the bay leaves, garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant.
Add in the drained potatoes and enough stock to come half way up the chicken and potatoes. Tuck in the cabbage.
Partially cover and reduce heat to a simmer an cook until the chicken is tender and starts to flake (about 10-15 minutes on low-medium heat).
Take off the lid and mix the cream and mustard together, then stir into the chicken.
Turn the heat up and if necessary, slake the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water and add to the pan also, turning up the heat briefly to thicken the sauce.
Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Use a shallow casserole with a lid if you have one so that you can tuck the chicken and veg in snugly and not need too much extra liquid.