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Farmhouse Chicken Casserole

Preparation time : 20 minutes,
Cooking time : 1 1/2 hours,
Oven : Preheat to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4),
Calories per serving: 520

ingredients

serves 4.
4 chicken quarters
8 oz (225 g) baby onions
8 oz (225 g) new potatoes
12 baby carrots
8 oz (225 g) large button mushrooms
2 tablespoons plain flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons groundnut oil
3/4 pint (450ml) dry cider
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Fresh herbs for garnish

method

1. Skin the chicken quarters and peel the onions. Scrub the potatoes, cutting them in half if they are large. Scrape the carrots and wipe the mushrooms clean.

2. Season the flour with salt and black pepper and coat the chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons of groundnut oil in a large casserole dish. Add the chicken quarters and cook over a moderate heat for 10 - 15 minutes, until lightly browned on all sides.

3. When browned, remove the chicken and drain it on kitchen paper. Heat the remaining groundnut oil in the casserole dish.

4. Add the onions and cook over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes until they have just turned golden. Stir in any remaining flour, then gradually pour in the dry cider, stirring continually.

5. Bring the mixture to the boil, then lower the heat and return the chicken to the casserole dish. Add the potatoes, carrots and herbs, and season to taste. Cover the casserole, transfer to the oven and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Add the button mushrooms and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the chicken quarters are very tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Garnish the casserole with fresh herbs and serve it straight from the dish.

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