Cast Iron Recipes!
Cooking with “Le Creuset”
Comfort Chicken Casserole
What could be better than a comforting plate of chicken casserole as autumn leaves begin to fall in their hundreds and aromatic wood smoke spirals around brick chimneys……….pearl grey mists greet me on my way down to open up the chickens every morning and the Robin is sporting his red breast as Christmas card season approaches. It’s definitely autumn now and it’s also definitely stew, soup and casserole weather………I find myself being drawn to soups over salads as well as dreaming of fluffy dumplings and steamed suet puddings – it’s what I call “Duvet Recipe Season”, a time to feed the body and soul with filling dishes of seasonal ingredients, of which chicken casserole remains a favourite at Chez Lavender and Lovage.
So, when I was asked to try one of the recipes as featured in the John Lewis Cook magazine in a new Le Creuset casserole pot, I was keen to accept. My new 24cm round Le Creuset casserole duly arrived in a new colour for me – Cotton (white), as I collect vintage Volcanic Le Creuset, as well as the new Teal colour too. Le Creuset has been making premium quality cast iron since 1925 at their foundry in northern France. Each piece is hand crafted and made from the finest materials to give you long-lasting durability. Cast iron is an excellent heat retainer which means if keeps food warm at the table for longer and requires only low to medium heat sources, which is why I love cooking with them so much.
As well as sharing my adapted recipe for Comfort Chicken Casserole today, I would also like to highlight some of my other Le Creuset recipes that I have on Lavender and Lovage; as I said before, I collect vintage Volcanic Le Creuset, as well as some of the newer colours and shapes…..and, I have some lovely recipes that are JUST perfect for the Duvet Recipe Season. From an elegant fish terrine to baked apples with a few hearty casseroles and spiced red cabbage in between, it’s the right time of year to share these hearty recipes with all my readers. All the recipes can be cooked in non cast iron pots of course, but, I find the heat retention in a Le Creuset excellent for most of the recipes below.
An elegant and tasty terrine with hot smoked salmon and fresh asparagus, this terrine cooks in a Le Creuset casserole dish which is used as a bain-marie for perfect and even heat retention. Serve this as a starter with salad, or as a light lunch with salad and crusty bread. This delightful terrine is also wonderful for picnics and as a luxury sandwich filling.
This great Cheat’s recipe has all the elements of a traditional French Cassoulet – assorted meats, beans, carrots, tomatoes, wine & tomatoes – but is very easy & does not include Confit d’Canard if you find that difficult to obtain. However, you need to get hold of high quality and high meat content sausages to give it a more authentic taste.
A rich chilli made with pieces of beef rather than minced beef and with an added autumnal ingredient, pumpkins! Chocolate is also added to this beefy chilli, for an authentic Mexican taste – it enhances the depth of flavour in this comforting dish, and adds a silky richness. Serve this with plain boiled rice, or in bowls with grated cheese and sour cream on top, and tortilla chips for dipping!
This is a perfect dinner party dish, as it can be prepared beforehand and then is popped in to a slow oven to cook for over two hours; the combination of ingredients is wonderful and after slow cooking for well over two hours you are rewarded with succulent chicken thighs in a creamy Marsala sauce with plump grapes, crisp pancetta and aromatic herbs….I served this straight from the casserole dish (on a heat-proof trivet on the kitchen table) with steamed potatoes and shredded baby Savoy cabbage.
Delectable baked apples filled with mincemeat and honey – these fruity baked apples would make a great alternative to Christmas pudding for pudding haters, or for a filling and comforting dessert for Sunday lunch or a mid-week family meal.
The use of spices and fruit in savoury recipes during the Elizabethan era was very popular, especially with the upper classes and the Royal court. This is based on a genuine Elizabethan recipe, which I have adapted for modern-day cooking. This is the perfect comfort dish to serve on a cold night and can be re-heated if you make it beforehand.
A sausage casserole is a thing of beauty, a hearty dish with bags of flavour that fills the whole family, and if you add some seasonal apples, you are also adding one of your five-a-day to the meal.
A hearty low-calorie recipe that is perfect for the 5:2 diet on fast days,as each portion only has 270 calories a serving. A wonderful harvest dish with root vegetables, tomatoes and lean minced beef.
A delicious sausage casserole with “hidden” fruit and vegetables; apples and parsnips add a sweetness to this hearty family dish and if you can substitute the cider with apple juice if you wish. Try to use top quality butcher’s sausages with a minimum of 70% meat content – pork sausages are a perfect match, but you can notch this recipe up by using venison sausages and serving the casserole with spiced red cabbage.
This American dish is a delicious mixture of minced beef with onions, tomato sauce and grated cheese – a sort of macaroni cheese with a Bolognese style sauce all in one! It’s a great way to ring the changes with both recipes and the results are a tasty pasta bake which is made with the minimum of fuss making it the perfect mid-week family meal.
A hearty hotpot style casserole that is packed with vegetables as part of your 5-a-day regime; this hotpot is healthy as well as tasty and makes good use of reduced-fat high meat content sausages and chicken breasts, for an easy and comforting “Sunday Lunch” alternative. Fresh sage leaves add a “stuffing” flavour to this hotpot and it’s cooked in a chicken gravy style stock pot for richness and flavour. Perfect for a mid-week family meal as well, and the children will love it!
A delicious festive recipe using red cabbage, fragrant spices & apples or pears; whilst this is happily cooking away, the spicy smell pervades the kitchen & indeed the rest of the house and heralds the start of my festive baking and freezing season – who needs expensive pot-pourri! Not only is this dish delectable to eat alongside turkey, pork, beef and hams in particular – but the colour is just gorgeous, a rich jewelled ruby-red. This cabbage can be kept warm for long periods, reheated and also freezes very well, making it a very well-behaved recipe.
But back to today’s recipe for Comfort Chicken Casserole – this is an easy casserole recipe using chicken thighs, smoked lardons and a selection of seasonal vegetables. The recipe below serves 4 adults or, 2 to 3 adults and 2 children……it’s a cheap and cheerful kind of comfort food recipe and it can be made ahead of time and reheated gently before serving. I served mine in shallow bowls with Savoy cabbage and crusty bread, and it was all devoured in record time! It’s also a perfect recipe to make for the freezer – just defrost it overnight and reheat gently in a Le Creuset dish once again.
I hope you enjoy today’s recipe as well as all the other’s I have shared, do let me know if you make any of them, it’s always lovely to hear from readers! That’s all for today, have a relaxing weekend and I’ll be back soon with some new recipes, some traveller’s tales from Singapore as well as recent Mediterranean Cruise – I’ll also be sharing my recent Food Safari experience in Suffolk…….and oh yes, I also have some new giveaways too! See you soon, Karen
I was sent a Le Creuset 24cm Round Casserole RRP: £145 and a John Lewis Voucher in order to make this recipe. All views and opinions are my own.
I also used some Hill Farm Extra Virgin Rapeseed Oil in my recipe that I was given on a recent visit to the farm. A full post about my day there will follow.