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For a hearty and flavourful meal try this slow-cooked chicken casserole served with blue cheese dumplings
- 2 ounces flour
- salt and pepper
- 8 chicken portions
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 8 slices streaky bacon, chopped
- 4 leeks, cut into 2in pieces
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups ale
- 1 teaspoon malt vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 1⁄2 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 8 ounces turnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
For the dumplings
- 2 ounces Stilton cheese, chopped
- 1 ounce walnuts, chopped
- 3 3⁄4 ounces flour
- 2 ounces suet
- 2 egg yolks
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch nutmeg (1 good grating)
- 1 pinch pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Season the flour generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Dust the chicken portions with the seasoned flour and sage.
- Heat the butter in a large casserole dish. Add in the chicken and brown on all sides. Remove the chicken and put to one side.
- Add the chopped bacon to the casserole dish and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add in the leeks, carrot, celery, onion and garlic and fry gently, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the chopped thyme, sugar, ale, malt vinegar and the Dijon mustard and bring to the boil.
- Pour the chicken broth into the dish, then add the browned chicken, bay leaf, rutebaga and parsnips.
- Cover and bake in the preheated oven for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 275F and bake in the oven for a further 1 hour 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Place the stilton, walnuts, flour, suet, egg yolks in a bowl. Add in the salt, freshly grated nutmeg and freshly ground pepper, mixing well.
- Combine the stilton mixture into a dough and shape into small, even-sized balls.
- Half an hour before the casserole has completed baking, scatter the dumplings over the casserole the top and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Sorry, perhaps this dish is too British for me. I love the dumplings. The chicken is tender, but quite bland. A lot of fat must be removed from the top of the casserole as well. The turnips add flavor, but the dish needs more spices I think.