Chicken Casserole with Red Wine

Chicken Casserole with Red Wine

Using chicken breasts in this Chicken Casserole with Red Wine ensures that there are no bones included and you can enjoy the whole dish. When using wine, ideally a reasonable quality full bodied wine such as a Burgundy should be used. This adds adds flavour to the dish but for a non-alcohol version, use stock and flavour enhancing ingredients that will still provide a tasty meal. The chillies and garlic are optional but some of the stronger flavours will be lost if left out.

Cooking in the oven for 2 to 3 hours will allow the chicken to tenderise and the flavours to blend. Ideal served with roast potatoes.

  • Serves: 2-4
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 mins
  • Standing Time: 10 mins
  • Ready In: 3 hours

Ingredients

There are quite a few ingredients included which all add to the flavour but feel free to experiment with your own tastes.

  • 2-4 skinless Chicken Breasts, 1 per person recommended
  • 2-3 rashers of Back Bacon – roughly diced with rind kept separate
  • 1 1/2 pints of Chicken Stock, (use 2 stock cubes if not home or ready made)
  •  35 cl to 70 cl of a full bodied Red Wine
  • 200g-400g tin Red Kidney Beans (to taste)
  • 410g tin Baked Beans
  • 2 oz of Plain Flour
  • 1 large Green Bell Pepper – sliced
  • 1 large Red Bell Pepper – sliced
  • 1 Red Onion – sliced
  • 2 White Onions – one sliced, one quartered
  • 1 Carrot – sliced
  • 2-3 Red or Green Chilli Peppers – finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – lightly crushed and sliced
  • Small piece of Root Ginger – grated
  • 4 medium to large Vine Ripe Tomatoes
  • 2-3 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
  • 1-2 tsp Turmeric
  • Slug of Modena Vinegar
  • 6 Cardamon Pods, (optional, adds sweet flavour)
  • 1-2 tsp Oregano, (fresh if in season 3 sprigs, remove from stem)
  • 1-2 tsp Basil  (fresh if in season, 12 leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp of low chlorine Salt
  • 1/2 tsp of White Pepper
  • 30 second grind of Black Pepper
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 20 Sultanas

Method

  1. Roll the chicken breasts in the flour until coated (adds a crisp coat to the chicken and thickens the juice when in the casserole)
  2. In a non-stick frying pan, partially fry the chicken breasts in olive oil for 3 minutes then add the cumin seeds. Fry for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the bacon roughly diced. Cut off rind and add this initially (remove when meat is cooked). Add the slightly crushed and sliced garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes until all golden brown.
  4. Retain the juice. Set aside whilst the vegetables cook.
  5. In another frying pan, add the chicken stock, the kidney beans and baked beans. Bring to the boil. Turn off the heat. Remove if overheating and replace onto the stove when just bubbling.
  6. Slice the onions and peppers and add to the frying pan that the meat was cooked in (add the bacon rind again, remove when cooked), cook for three minutes. Add the carrot. Fry lightly until golden brown, almost cooked but still in shape. Add to the chicken mixture in a bowl.
  7. Grate the ginger and mushrooms, fry on a hot heat for 2 minutes.
  8. Fry the tomatoes and basil with salt and oregano for 2 minutes on a high heat.
  9. Leave in the pan, add vegetables and chicken. Gradually pour in the wine and bring to the boil whilst stirring. Add to the casserole dish.
  10. Using a pestle and mortar grind the cardamom pods until they split. Remove the seeds. Discard husk and shell. Add to the casserole.
  11. Slice the chilli peppers with the seeds and add to the casserole, (they can be fried with the onions but will cause a pungent odour that may make the cook choke).
  12. Stir into the casserole the white pepper and tumeric and sultanas.
  13. Add a good slug of Modena vinegar to the top of the mixture and stir together with the bay leaves, (if an infuser is used add bay leaves to this). Add sufficient hot water so that the mixture is the consistency of thin gravy so that it will not dry out.
  14. Cook the casserole in the oven at 220 degrees for half an hour
  15. Reduce the heat to 180 degrees and cook for a further  half an hour, remove the bay leaf (unless using an infuser) stir.
  16. Check the liquid level after an hour and a half, gently add hot water if required. When serving it should have juice and be of a fairly thick consistency. Add a little more water 15 minutes before removing from the oven if not.
  17. Allow to stand with the lid on ten minutes before serving.

Top Tips, 

  • Using 2 frying pans makes life easier at the start. One non stick at least
  • Check the liquid level often to ensure your casserole doesn’t dry out
  • When using wine, soak the cooked chicken whilst the other vegetables are cooking. The chicken should sit at the bottom of the casserole when cooking
  • The bacon rind adds more flavour to the vegetables in the pan, remove and discard when finished in the pan
  • If any water is added to prevent the dish drying out then it must be added very gently and stirred with the liquid again reaching the cooking temperature

Recommended Equipment

  • Large good quality Casserole Dish
  • Large non-stick Frying Pan
  • 2nd frying pan
  • Pestle & Mortar
  • One infuser ball, (optional), for bay leaf.
  • Medium sized pyrex bowl or similar