Chicken Casserole with Character Recipe
Chicken casserole made with love, with lots of flavour and delicious veggies
I grew up in a Latin American home where chicken casserole was served at the table at least once a week. Peruvians love chicken. We cook it in different ways such as, marinated and roasted whole chickens, which we call “pollo a la brasa,” baked in the oven, marinated and grilled, sautéed in a wok with vegetables, with pasta, with rice, in brochettes, and more. Herbs and spices are always present in the recipes, as well as flavourful sauces on the side.
Following my cultural tradition of eating chicken casserole quite often, I created my own version of this dish that brings me back to my childhood.
A recipe full of flavour and few calories
4 Chicken drumsticks and thighs without the skin
650 gr Carrots
150 gr Baby chestnut mushrooms
1 Red onion
4 Garlic cloves without germ
1 Yellow bell pepper
3 tbsp Coconut oil
1 tbsp Cumin
Juice of 1 orange freshly squeezed
1 tbsp Coconut cream
1 Bird’s eye chilli
1 piece ~3cm Peeled ginger
2 Bay leaves
1 cup Water + 2 tbsp to deglaze
Salt and pepper to taste
Coriander to decorate and add flavour
- Detach the skin from the chicken drumsticks and thighs and discard.
- Remove any extra fat and the tendons from the drumstick.
- Rinse, peel and cut carrots in thick pieces.
- Rinse chilli and finely chop; include seeds.
- Use two bowls to rinse mushrooms. In one bowl place the mushrooms, add clean water, move them around for a few seconds with your hands to remove dirt, and transfer them with your hands to the empty bowl. Discard the dirty water. Repeat the procedure three times.
- Peel onion and cut thin slices.
- Remove the germ of garlic cloves. Crush two and keep the other two whole.
- Rinse yellow bell pepper, remove core, veins and seeds. Cut in medium size pieces.
- Season chicken pieces with salt, pepper and cumin.
- Heat coconut oil in a pot that will hold all ingredients and colour chicken on all sides.
- Deglaze with orange juice and scrape the bottom of the pot to release the flavour.
- Remove the chicken and keep aside.
- Add sliced onion, sweat for a couple of minutes in medium heat, until transparent and add garlic, both crushed and whole. Mix well.
- Add chilli and the piece of ginger. Mix and cook for a few minutes and add 2 tbsp of water to deglaze.
- Incorporate carrots, bay leaves and 1 cup of water. Cook for five minutes.
- Add bell pepper and mix all ingredients.
- Put chicken back in the pot and place mushrooms on top.
- Cover with a lid and cook in low heat for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat, add coconut cream, cover and leave for five more minutes.
- Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve with coriander leaves or aromatic fine herb salad on top.
Why remove drumstick tendons?
- Remove the tendons from the drumstick of the chicken to assure a flawless experience in the mouth and concentrate on the taste and texture. Otherwise, the experience in the mouth won’t be ideal because tendons have a stringy texture and the ends are chewy and uncomfortable to deal with.
- As well, a clean drumstick showing only the bone and no cartilage in the ankle shows a cleaner and more professional presentation.
How to remove drumstick tendons?
You will need a paring knife and a poultry trussing needle.
- With the paring knife make an incision around the circumference just above the ankle. Do not cut all the way to the bone.
- Use the poultry trussing needle to go under each thin white tendon and pull. There will be around seven thin white tendons and a bigger tendon. With this method, the tendon should be pulled from the flesh area and not from the end.
- In case you cannot remove all the tendons this way (it happens!), pull the white end of the tendon with your fingers and use the knife to separate the tendon from the flesh by carefully scraping it.
- Make sure you remove all cartilage from the end of the drumstick and leave it looking clean.
Ideas of garnish to serve with this chicken casserole recipe:
You may like to read the Aromatic and Spicy Marinade recipe