Creamy Chicken Casserole
20ml (1 tablespoon) oil
1kg chicken (breast or pieces)
100g bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 large garlic clove, crushed
100g mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
125ml white wine
300ml chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup cream
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley, to garnish
Heat 3 teaspoons of the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan and brown pieces on all sides. Don't overcrowd the pan when frying; if necessary, fry the chicken in two or more batches, adding more oil if required.
Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 1 teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add bacon, onion and carrot and cook, stirring, until onion has softened.
Add garlic, mushrooms, flour and tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Gradually stir in wine and chicken stock. Increase heat to high and continue stirring until the mixture simmers.
Return chicken to the pan and add the bay leaf. Cover pan (have the steam vent on the lid open) and reduce heat so that the mixture is simmering. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, or until chicken is tender and sauce has reduced. You may need to remove the lid for the last 15-20 minutes of the cooking time if the sauce has not reduced enough. Stir casserole occasionally during cooking.
Stir in cream, bring casserole back to the simmer, and then turn off the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaf and place chicken on serving plates. Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with parsley.