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A Little Thyme Casserole by Ros Heathcote

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

Love a pun. This is so quick, so easy, so delicious and really nutritious. This high-protein meal is fine on its own but best served with a mash. I'm especially fond of carrot and swede (aka rutabaga) mash to keep things paleo seasoned with lots of garlic and black pepper yum!

Serves: 2 People

Time: 45 Minutes


Ingredients


* indicates optional ingredients

  • 4 X organic chicken thighs (with bone and skin)

  • 8 brussel sprouts

  • 1 leek

  • 1/2 red onion

  • 1 celery stalk

  • 1 pouch of organic chicken bone broth

  • 4 X garlic cloves

  • 6 X stems thyme

  • 2 X generous pinches salt (pink or sea)

  • 5 X twists ground black pepper

  • 1 X tablespoon oil/fat (rapeseed/ghee/coconut - olive oil has too low a smoking point)

  • *1/2 tbsp cornflour (gf) or quinoa flour (paleo, gf)

  • *50ml filtered water


Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190°C Fan/200°C Standard

  2. Halve the sprouts, and finely slice the red onion so it's in half circles.

  3. Place in the bottom of the dish.

  4. Slice the leek into 1.5cm round slices.

  5. Slice the celery into thin slices.

  6. Smash the garlic.

  7. Place everything in a shallow ceramic ovenproof dish and garnish with 4 of the thyme stems.

  8. Check the chicken thigh skin is dry and pat with kitchen paper if necessary.

  9. Add the thighs to the top of the dish and season generously with salt and pepper. Add the remaining thyme leaves by breaking them off the stem.

  10. Distribute the fat over the chicken and underlying vegetables evenly.

  11. Place in the hot oven for 15 minutes until the skin starts to brown on the chicken.

  12. While waiting, empty a pouch of chilled chicken broth into a pan and heat on the hob until just boiling. Turn it down to a simmer.

  13. *At this point if you want a thickish sauce stir up the flour and water in a dish until it's a loose paste (slurry) then pour it into the simmering broth and stir.

  14. Take the dish out of the oven and pour the hot broth in between the chicken and into the roasting vegetables. Try and avoid the chicken skins as you want these to crisp up.

  15. Cook for a further 30-40 minutes, checking the chicken and veg are browning but not burning.

  16. Once the chicken skin is perfectly crispy, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

  17. Strip the chicken off the bone on a chopping board with a fork (like they do with Peking duck).

  18. In a shallow bowl, layer the veg, sauce and some mash. Place the chicken on top. Provide a spoon and perhaps a giant napkin. The sauce should be sweet, slightly sticky, flavoursome and nourishing. Perfect.

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