Recipe: Summery chicken casserole

Okay, so the not-so-good British summer limps along with odd sunshine appearances making us briefly happy before plunging us back into the inevitable rain and grey-sky-punctuated days of July. So while I’d love to be lounging in my garden with the barbecue sizzling, practical considerations (barbecues aren’t so much fun when it’s raining) mean that my cooking mind is heading in a different direction…a stew direction.

Today I decided I needed to come up with a satisfying chicken casserole that also has a taste of summer about it. The flavour combination of honey, orange juice and tomatoes is beautifully light and zesty and works perfectly with the tender chicken thighs and creamy butter beans.

HONEY AND ORANGE CHICKEN WITH BUTTER BEANS AND TOMATOES

Serves 6

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The final dish topped with chopped parsley

900g boneless chicken thighs, chopped into generous bite-sized pieces

2 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

4cm piece of root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

4 tbsp runny honey

Half tsp saffron strands

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes in juice

5 tbsps passata

1 litre chicken stock

2 x 400g cans of butter beans

Juice of 1 orange

Salt and pepper

Two handfuls flat leafed parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based casserole dish or pan on the stove. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger over a medium heat until the onion is soft and translucent.

Add the honey, saffron, cinnamon, tomatoes, pasta and stock. Bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the chicken pieces. Season to taste. Cook for about 20mins on a low simmer.

Add the orange juice and butter beans and cook for another 15 minutes on low, until the chicken is tender and everything else is thoroughly heated through.

Sprinkle generously with chopped parsley.

Serve with rice and vegetables.

I got my chicken from The Black Farmer. The company was set up by Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones and produces gluten-free products that are also RSPCA assured which means the company has a vision for all farm animals to have a good life and be treated with compassion and respect. The products are also of the highest quality, these thighs were packed with flavour.

TBF_FR_thigh-filletsThe Black Farmer produces a range of sausages, burgers, free range chickens, bacon, eggs and meatballs. Much of the range is available online at Ocado and you’ll also find the beef burgers at Asda and the chickens at selected Budgens.

Find out more at theblackfarmer.com

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The chicken stew simmers on the stove