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Here is a mild child-friendly version of an easy-and-hearty chicken dish, perfect for cooler days. You can enjoy an adult version by adding as much dried red chili flakes as you fancy in which case sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves before serving. And you can use any chicken portions that you fancy, with or without skin. Without of course, will render much less fat, reducing the fat content (and your work to scoop that excess fat off after cooking) of the dish greatly.

Chicken & Red Pepper Casserole

Ingredients


  • 65 ml cake flour
  • 30 ml ground sweet or smoked paprika (or to taste)
  • salt and freshly-milled black pepper
  • 12 chicken thighs (or a mixture of thighs, drumsticks and wings)
  • 6 sprigs of rosemary
  • 30 ml butter
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 2 large onions, cut into slim wedges
  • 2 – 3 large red peppers, diced coarsely
  • 2 – 3 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 30 ml sugar
  • 30 ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 x 425 g can chopped tomatoes
  • 50 g tomato paste
  • 250 ml prepared chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves



Chef's hint: If you prefer using chicken breasts, use 4 whole breasts with bone and skin intact and cut them in half. Proceed as indicated above but shorten the cooking time to around 40 minutes in the oven. And also reduce the liquids by omitting half the stock.

Method


Combine the flour and paprika in a small bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Trim the fat and excess skin off the chicken and place the pieces in a large plastic bag. Sprinkle in the flour mixture. Close the bag and then shake it vigorously so that the flour mixture can coat all the chicken pieces.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the oil. Lightly brown the chicken pieces on all sides, drain on kitchen paper then pack them in a single layer in a large casserole dish. Tuck in the rosemary sprigs.

Add the onions and red peppers to the saucepan and sauté until the onion softens. Add the garlic and sugar and stir-fry briefly. Add the vinegar and stir until it has evaporated then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, stock and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then pour over the chicken in the casserole.

Place a sheet of oiled baking paper or foil over the food, cover the casserole with a lid and place in the oven preheated to 190º C for an hour.

Now remove the casserole lid and the baking paper or foil and continue to cook the chicken uncovered until the sauce is reduced to your liking, stirring and basting the chicken every so often.

Remove the casserole from the oven, spoon the fat off the surface and transfer to a serving dish, picking out the rosemary stalks as you go along.

Serve with rice noodles (orzo) and a simple green salad dressed with plain fat-free yoghurt and lemon juice.

Serves 6