Chicken, Madeira and Mushroom Casserole.

This gorgeous creamy casserole has added depth of flavour from a splash of Madeira and earthy wild mushrooms.

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour

Serves 4


For the casserole

1 medium chicken, jointed into 8 pieces

1 tsp plain flour

75g/2½oz butter

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

5 tbsp Madeira

500ml/18fl oz chicken stock

200ml/7fl oz double cream

4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only, chopped

250g/9oz chestnut mushrooms, cut into quarters

100g/3½oz chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned

2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mash

1kg/2lb 4oz floury potatoes, such as King Edward, peeled and cut into chunks

150g/5½oz butter

150ml/5fl oz double cream


Step 1. For the casserole, season the chicken pieces with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then dredge them in the flour to coat.

Step 2. Heat two-thirds of the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. When foaming, add the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary, and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown on each side. (Do not overcrowd the pan.) Remove the chicken pieces from the pan and transfer to a casserole or a large heavy-based saucepan.

Step 3. Place the casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, Madeira, chicken stock, cream and thyme, stir well and bring the mixture to the boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then simmer for 12-15 minutes.

Step 4. Stir in the mushrooms and continue to simmer for a further 12-15 minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly. (The chicken is cooked through when the juices run clear when pierced in the thickest part with a knife, and no trace of pink remains.) Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then stir in the remaining butter and the parsley.

Step 5. Meanwhile, for the mash, boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water, then reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain well and return to the pan, then place over a low heat for a couple of minutes to dry them slightly.

Step 6. Mash or rice the potatoes until smooth, then stir in the butter and cream until smooth and well combined, and season to taste.

Step 7. Serve the casserole with a spoonful of mash.