Fudge, it’s cold – Winter has well and truly hit us here in Sydney town.
You know how they say that Sydney is the coldest place in the world? Well, it’s because no one is ever prepared for the cool weather, so there’s no central heating in our houses, no double-glazed windows to keep out the drafts, scarves and overcoats are of the lightest weight because we think oh, it’s just a short cold spell that will be over by Wednesday, so man up, you wuss!
What this means is that the Bureau of Meteorology website is my favourite bookmark at the moment. I love looking at the radar map of approaching storms, and the prediction of ‘95% chance of rain’ for tomorrow, well, der, I already knew that, but it’s good to see it confirmed!
OK, that’s enough conversation about the weather for now. Here is another slow cooker meal that I did on the weekend, a smooth and warming Chicken and Broad Bean Casserole. It’s adapted from a dish that’s in this month’s (June) Australian Women’s Weekly. They used celeriac in their casserole, but there was none at the supermarket, so I used swede and potato instead. The rest is your usual slow cooker method of browning the meat first, then letting the flavours meld in the slow cooker while you enjoy your (cold) weekend.
By the way, don’t you just love swede? It holds its shape so well during long cooking, and it has such a fresh flavour, compared to, say, potato. Can’t wait to visit Stockholm one day (swede, smorgasbord, meatballs, Stockholm... geddit?)
Chicken and Broad Bean Casserole
6 chicken thigh fillets (about 600g total), cut into thick slices
2 tblsp plain flour + 1 tblsp extra
2 tblsp rice bran oil or canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tsp crushed garlic
1 tblsp Dijon mustard
2 cups chicken stock
1 medium swede, peeled and roughly chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup broad beans (frozen or fresh)
1. Place the chicken and 2 tablespoons of flour into a large plastic bag and toss the chicken around so that it is coated in the flour. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the chicken until browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Wipe the pan with paper towel, then add the butter, onion, celery and carrot. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the extra 1 tablespoon of flour, then the garlic and mustard and stir for one minute. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
3. Put the swede and potatoes into the slow cooker, then top with the chicken and then the stock mixture. Cover and cook on Low heat for 5 hours.
4. Put the broad beans into a heatproof bowl, then pour over boiling water to cover. Leave for 2 minutes, then peel the outer covering from the beans. Add the beans to the cooker and cook for another 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
This is a swede. I will call him Björn.
Other veg includes carrot, celery and potato.
Condiments include chicken stock, garlic and Dijon mustard.
The partly cooked chicken, carrot, celery and onion are dumped into the slow cooker.
The colours of this casserole are lovely, almost like Spring rather than Winter.
Hope you are keeping warm, wherever you are!