Monday, 6 January 2014

A classic winter warmer - #midweekmealsformums

As it's my first day back at work today (you wouldn't know at all would you, I've kept it very quiet), I want to come home to a delicious, warming meal that will take zero effort to prepare, leaving me with plenty of quality time with my baby boy.

That's why my first #midweekmealsformums dish is an easy slow cooker recipe, that you can either leave cooking all day or you can prepare in advance and freeze ready to defrost, heat and eat whenever you fancy it.

 
Classic chicken casserole

Ingredients (makes a good meal for 2 people plus leftovers, or 3-4 if served with a side dish):

- 6 x Boneless chicken thighs 
- 1 x leek
- 2 x carrots
- 1 x swede
- 1 x onion
- 1 x chicken stock cube
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp thyme
- 2 x bay leaves
- glug of red wine (if you're cooking just for adults!)
- a little flour, to thicken the sauce towards the end if needed

Mummy money saving tip:

Choose chicken thighs instead of breast meat as this is cheaper to buy but just as tasty (I opt for boneless as I prefer meat off the bone, and Asda is currently offering six fresh thighs for £3). For even more convenience, I bought a bag of prepared casserole vegetables, containing the ingredients listed above, for just £1 in Asda.

Also, I find having a herb and spice cupboard stocked with all the various essentials you use time and again for numerous dishes makes things quick, easy and affordable. Stock up on herbs, spices, stocks, lemon juice, garlic etc. and you'll have whatever you need to make a variety of meals and it'll last you ages too, so you'll really see the value.

In total, this dish cost me £4 (excluding the items used from my stock cupboard) to make, contains fresh ingredients and will provide us with dinner for two plus leftovers for lunch the next day.

Method:
 
You can either seal the chicken in a hot pan first or simply pop straight in your slow cooker, on top of your diced and sliced vegetables, pour over the stock, mixed with the other ingredients, and cook on low all day long or leave on the high setting for four to five hours. 

This is a hearty meal on its own or you could make dumplings (if you have more time) or simply serve with new potatoes or crusty bread.
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2 comments

  1. A-ha! That reminds me. We've got chicken in the freezer. Slow cooker will be slow cooking tomorrow then ;) thanks for the nudge...

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Love it when you forgot you had food tucked away somewhere, feels like a free meal! :)

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