The chicken casserole in tomato sauce with mashed potatoes is one of those dishes that smells wonderfully homely and turns the kitchen into the heart of the home. This family Sunday recipe is always a nostalgic and emotional one.
Chicken casserole in tomato sauce with mashed potatoes
Preparation: The chicken can be cooked one day before serving. Once cooled, put it in the fridge. When reheating, do so gradually over a low heat before serving. The mashed potatoes can also be cooked two hours before and reheated at the end.
Ingredients (serve 4)
1 chicken approx. 1.8 – 2 kilos
3 medium onions, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped or 1 carton chopped tomatoes
100 ml red wine
100 – 150 ml water
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2 cloves of garlic, whole, unpeeled, washed
4 – 5 seeds allspice
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
50 ml approx. oil
1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp paprika
Parsley, finely chopped for garnish
For the mashed potatoes
200ml light sour cream 15% fat or full-fat milk
For the mashed potatoes
1 kilo potatoes
50 g butter
200 ml cream, skimmed (15% fat) or same amount full fat milk
Preparing the chicken: Wash the chicken well, and if whole, cut into portions. Dry the pieces well with kitchen paper. Put half the oil in a deep frying pan or casserole and place over a high heat. As soon as it sizzles, brown the chicken pieces evenly on all sides, in batches of 3-4 pieces at a time.
Put another frying pan over a medium heat, and sauté the onions until they become transparent, before they start to brown. Pour in the wine and then tip the onion-wine mixture into the pan with the chicken pieces. Add the remaining ingredients and as soon as they come to the boil, lower the heat until just simmering and leave to cook for 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the bird. Check occasionally to see if the sauce needs more water. Taste and add salt and pepper accordingly.
Making the mashed potatoes: Wash the potatoes and boil in their skins for 25 – 30 minutes or until they can be pierced easily with a fork or skewer. Leave them to cool a little, peel and mash in the pot using a potato masher, never in the blender. Place the pot over a medium heat, add butter and stir in to melt. Add the cream or milk, salt and pepper, taste and adjust if necessary.
Serving: Put the mashed potato onto a warmed plate first, and then the chicken. Pour the sauce on the chicken. Garnish with parsley.
NOTE: The cinnamon can be omitted from the sauce if you don’t like it or according to mum’s latest variation on her recipe, you can substitute it with grated nutmeg. If you have a lot of sauce leftover, you can add some chilli to it and use it as a quick pasta sauce on another occasion.