Chicken Casserole with Beer

Chicken Casserole with Beer

This tasty Chicken Casserole uses chicken breasts without bones. A good strong bitter beer can be used to add flavour to the dish or you can use stock and flavour enhancing ingredients. The flavour of the beer changes with cooking as it blends with all of the other flavours of the dish at temperature. 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)
  • 1 pint of Bitter Ale
  • 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 but will add 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 diced bacon and the separate rind (remove rind when meat is cooked but keep). Also add the garlic and cook for around 3 minutes until all golden brown
  4. Retain the juice. Add the chicken, bacon and garlic to the casserole dish (retain if using wine, in a bowl).
  5. In a 2nd frying pan, add the chicken stock, half the beer, kidney beans and baked beans. Bring to the boil. Add the remaining beer, gradually bringing back to the boil
  6. Remove from the pan, putting into the large casserole dish. Turn off this ring as it is no longer needed.
  7. Add your sliced onions and peppers to the frying pan that the meat was cooked in (add the bacon rind again, remove when cooked). Cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Add the carrot and fry lightly until golden brown, almost cooked but still in shape then add to the casserole dish.
  9. Grate the ginger and mushrooms then fry on a hot heat for 2 minutes, add to casserole dish.
  10. Fry the tomatoes and basil with salt and oregano for two minutes on a high heat. Add to the casserole
  11. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the cardamom pods until they split. Remove the seeds. Discard husk and shell. Add to the casserole.
  12. Slice the chilli peppers, retain seeds. Add to the casserole, (they can be fried with the onions but will cause a pungent odour that may make the cook choke).
  13. Stir into the casserole the white pepper, tumeric and sultanas.
  14. 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 the sufficient hot water so that the mixture is the consistency of thin gravy so that it will not dry out.
  15. Cook the casserole in the oven at 220 degrees for half an hour
  16. Reduce the heat to 180 degrees and cook for a further  half an hour, remove the bay leaf (unless using an infuser) and stir.
  17. 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.
  18. Allow to stand with the lid on for 10 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
  • The bacon rind adds more flavour to the vegetables in the pan, remove when finished in the pan

Recommended Equipment

  • Large good quality Casserole Dish
  • Large non-stick Frying Pan
  • 2nd frying pan
  • Pestle & Mortar
  • One infuser ball (optional) for bay leaf