“I don’t really like onions in my cooking, so I always leave them out of my stews – I prefer to use leeks instead. My kids also like sweetcorn in there, which I stir in from frozen just after the casserole has come out of the oven. Daisy loves this with mint sauce on the top, too. ”
- 2 medium leeks
- 2 carrots
- 2 sticks of celery
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 rashers of higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
- olive oil
- 200 g celeriac
- 2 parsnips
- 6 new potatoes
- 8 free-range chicken thighs , skin off, bone out
- 1 heaped teaspoon Marmite
- 600 ml organic vegetable stock
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºC/gas 5.
- Trim, wash and slice the leeks 1cm thick, scrub and cut the carrots into rough chunks and finely slice the celery. Peel and finely slice the garlic, pick the thyme leaves, discarding the stalks, and finely slice the bacon.
- Heat a lug of oil in a large casserole pan on a medium heat, then add the bacon. Scatter in the thyme leaves and fry for a few minutes, or until the bacon is golden.
- Next, add the leeks, carrots, celery and garlic and cook for around 10 minutes, or until the leeks start to soften, stirring regularly. Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop the celeriac and parsnips, then roughly chop the potatoes.
- Add the chicken, celeriac, parsnips and potatoes to the pan. Stir in the Marmite, add a good grinding of black pepper and stir to coat.
- Pour in the hot stock, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to low. Crumple up and wet a piece of greaseproof paper, then open it out and place on top of the stew. Cover with a lid and pop in the oven for 1 hour, or until the chicken is super-tender.
- When the time’s up, gently break the chicken up into the stew, then serve up in bowls. I like to serve this with broccoli on the side. Sometimes I top it with puff pastry or I stir it through pasta for a really tasty sauce.
I’ve used celeriac and parsnips in my recipe, but you can use any root veg you’ve got knocking around in the bottom of the fridge – turnips, butternut squash and potato all work really well.
If cooking this for your baby, leave out the bacon and used low-salt or homemade salt-free stock. Allow to cool, then chop or mash to the desired consistency.
Source: Jamie Oliver