As autumn girds its loins and follows the sweltering late summer sun I was looking for something warmer than a salad but with a hint of lightness.
Chicken, bacon and leek casserole
Now I am making no excuse but this was a real cheat this week.
1lb diced chicken breast
3 rashers of dry cured bacon, chopped
1 leek, chopped
400ml semi-skimmed milk
1 sachet supermarket casserole mix (the cheat)
2oz strong cheddar cheese, grated
sliced new potatoes to cover. (quantity depends on size of casserole)
oil for cooking
If you insist on being totally cheffy then instead of the sachet you would prepare a white sauce with chicken friendly herbs. I would have thought that flat leaf parsley, bay leaf or thyme.
In the case of the milk I used fully skimmed and the sauce thickened as required.
Preheat the oven to 200 decrees Celsius. Mix the sauce with the milk. Fry the chopped bacon in the oil for 3 or 4 minutes then add the pieces of chicken; fry for a further 4 or 5 minutes then pour in the sauce and bring to the boil. Simmer in the pan for 3 minutes and then transfer to an oven proof casserole. Cover with the sliced potatoes and put in the oven for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the cheese and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.
Serve with green vegetables.
I used sliced courgette (zucchini) sauteed in oil with garlic, salt and ground black pepper.
This was a success, very tasty and kept in the fridge for three days. I believe the quality of the bacon and the stronger cheese produced more flavour. So don't be afraid of using prepared sauces as there are still aspects of cooking that depend on your skill as a chef but if you are short of time - why not?