1 December 2011

Chicken Casserole with olives & raisins

There now - I bet that got your attention.  Chicken casserole with olives and raisins?  Curious!

Well, that's the reaction it engendered in me when I saw it.  Maybe I'm the only one.  ~shrug~

I'm always in the market for another chicken casserole recipe - after all, it's one of the mainstays of our week's menus - or used to be!  Since chicken is apparently particularly bad where being inflammatory is concerned, I'm thinking that perhaps it's going to appear rather less in the future.

However, I'm still getting my head around the anti-inflammatory thing - and I have got two growing lads to feed.

I found the recipe on Good Food Channel's website and immediately was struck by the novelty value of raisins and olives being included in a casserole that, apparently, didn't contain the middle eastern spices that are more usually found in conjunction with this type of fruit.  Not only that, but the recipe also includes 100ml of dry sherry which is another unusual bedmate.

However, I could see how they would all potentially sit agreeably together, particularly with the tomatoes and green peppers that the recipe also demanded.

The end result was very nice indeed.  I was careful to ensure that the sauce stayed good and substantial and no one flavour stood out from any other.  We ate the casserole with some sweet potato wedges which were a great foil for the savouriness of the chicken mixture.  However, I can't help but think that some plain rice and maybe some green beans would be just as good.


Ingredients :

2 tbsp olive oil
3 skinless chicken breasts
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tomato puree
100ml dry sherry
3 cloves
2 green peppers, sliced
2 carrots, sliced finely
100ml chicken stock (I used Knorr Chicken Stock Pots)
1-2 tbsp raisins
1 handful pitted green olives.

Method :

1.  Pre-heat your oven to 200deg C/400deg F/Gas 6.

2.  Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken breasts on each side for 3-5 minutes until golden.  Transfer to a casserole dish, leaving behind as much of the fat as possible.

3.  Add the onions to the frying pan and cook on a medium heat until softened.  Add the garlic and flour and cook for a minute more.

4.  Stir in the tomato puree, sherry and stock, stirring or whisking to ensure all lumps are mixed in.  Add the cloves, carrots and green peppers and bring to a gentle simmer, then pour over the chicken.

5.  Cover the dish and place in the oven for 30 minutes.

6.  Remove from the oven and stir in the raisins and olives, then replace and cook for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.



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