An easy chicken casserole recipe should be in every cook’s little black book – add your favourite vegetables, herbs or a splash of wine.
For the casserole
4 chicken breasts, or 600g/1lb 5oz cooked leftover roast chicken
2 onions, 1 roughly chopped, 1 thinly sliced
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
6 whole peppercorns
1 fresh bay leaf
30g/1oz plain flour
1 small head broccoli, cut into florets and blanched
225g/8oz tin water chestnuts, drained
1 free-range egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tbsp double cream
squeeze lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Place the chicken breasts, roughly chopped onion, carrot, celery, peppercorns and bay leaf into a large pan and add enough water to cover the ingredients.
Bring the mixture slowly to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25–30 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid and reserve 450ml/16fl oz of it. Set aside.
Heat half of the butter in a large separate pan and add the flour. Stir over a low heat until the mixture forms a smooth paste that leaves the sides and base of the pan cleanly. Gradually add the reserved cooking liquid, stirring well after each addition, to make a sauce. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the broccoli and water chestnuts to the sauce.
In a bowl, mix the egg yolk with the cream and slowly add this mixture to the sauce. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and stir to combine.
Cut the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and return to the sauce. Stir well.
In a separate pan, heat the remaining butter and fry the remaining thinly sliced onion until soft and golden-brown.
To serve, sprinkle the onion over the casserole, garnish with parsley and serve