The English Pear: Cider, Sausage, and Chicken Casserole

“He Looked and smelt like Autumn’s very brother, his face being sunburnt to wheat-colour, his eyes blue as corn-flowers, his sleeves and leggings dyed with fruit-stains, his hands clammy with the sweet juice of apples, his hat sprinkled with pips, and everywhere about him the sweet atmosphere of cider which at its first return each season has such an indescribable fascination for those who have been born and bred among the orchards.” – The Woodlanders, Thomas Hardy

The dreaded deadline season is upon us, so we have brought to you a real winter treat that will save precious time in the kitchen. This family recipe for a sausage and chicken casserole is tried and tested; it’s a perfect one-pot meal that is incredibly simple but seriously delicious! The cider sauce brings that little bit of indulgence and a kick of alcohol to keep us all sane. We like to serve this on rice with a selection of winter veggies. Enjoy!

Serves: 6 (a good one to freeze in portions)

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 1 hour, 15 mins

What you need:

  • 6 British sausages (we like pork and apple)
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-3 tbsp corn flour
  • 500ml cider bottle
  • Dash of Worcester sauce
  • 1 Chicken stock cube
  • 1 tsp ground oregano
  • 1 tsp ground rosemary
  • 1 tsp ground sage (Or 3 tsp mixed herbs)
  • Salt and pepper
  • A casserole dish that can sit on the hob (or you can use a deep frying pan then transfer into a dish before placing in the oven).

How To Make:

  1. Preheat the oven to Fan 180/ Gas Mark 5.
  2. Start by preparing your vegetables. Slice the carrots and parsnips into medium chunks and dice the red onion. Then slice the chicken breasts into similar sized pieces.
  3. Heat the oil in the dish and brown the chicken pieces and the sausages. Transfer to a plate and set to one side.
  4. Sauté the diced red onion on a medium heat for 3-5 minutes until soft, adding more oil if required. Add the ground herbs, making sure the onion is covered.
  5. Pour the bottle of cider into the dish with the chicken stock. Add 1 table spoon of corn flour at a time until the sauce reaches your preferred thickness. Season well with salt and pepper and a dash of Worcester sauce.
  6. Cut the sausages into medium size chunks and add to the casserole dish along with the chicken, carrots and parsnips.
  7. Cover and cook in the oven for a minimum of one hour.
  8. Serve with rice and a selection of winter veggies – recently we have been loving Brussel sprouts and broccoli.

– Caitlin Britt & Naomi Osborne 

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