Prepare ahead, slow cooker, comfort food season has arrived, and this Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole should be an autumn/ winter staple in your household during this season.
Chicken Casserole evokes childhood memories for me. It was a weekly staple in our house when I was a kid, with heaps and heaps of almost creamy mash and bread with way too much butter on for a growing lad. This slow cooker chicken casserole is like a big warm hug on a chilly autumn evening.
The Ultimate Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole
As I’ve said on the recent Cauliflower + Broccoli Cheese post, and then again on the Butternut Squash + Sweet Potato Soup recipe, this time of year is my favourite time to cook. This slow cooker chicken casserole recipe encompasses everything I like about this time of year, a deep flavourful broth, seasonal slow-cooked root vegetables and food in abundance, it’s big, it’s hearty, and it’s mostly good for you.
I will be sharing more stews, casseroles and broths over the coming weeks and months so stay tuned for more of that.
Flavour tips & tricks
There are so many ways to create deep, intense flavourful stews, slow cooking is fabulous for getting deep, intense flavours, but there’s more we can do, below are a few ways we’re making sure this slow cooker chicken casserole is packed with flavour:
- Caramelising the Leeks before adding them to the broth will add much more flavour to your casserole than chucking them in freshly chopped.
- Create a stock from Dried Mushrooms. Soak dried mushrooms in 200ml of boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes. Tip the water through a sieve and into your slow cooker for a savoury umami punch.
- Brown the chicken before adding to it to the slow cooker, this will result in extra flavour and retain some bite in the skin.
- My secret ingredient for every rich sauce is Marmite, add one tablespoon to the slow cooker.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, omit the flour at the beginning of the recipe. With 30 minutes cooking time remaining, combine two tablespoons of cornflour with two tablespoons of water, mix well and pour into the slow cooker. You’ll end up with a nice, thick gravy.
I avoided sticking baby potatoes in the casserole because to me – you have to have it with mashed potato! Super creamy mash, mash, MASH! That’s all the only thing you can serve a casserole with surely? The addition of crusty white bread slathered in butter makes this meal absolutely perfect! Carbs, on carbs! How else would you eat a casserole? Let me know in the comments below.
Cost + Calories
I worked out that this recipe costs roughly £1.06 per portion when serving for six people, as recommended. This is based on pricing from my supermarket of choice, Morrisons.
There are healthier ways to make a slow cooker chicken casserole, and there are probably cheaper ways to make a slow cooker chicken casserole. Switching out the thighs and drumsticks which contain the higher fat dark meat for chicken breasts, or removing the skin would make this a lower-calorie dish. Ditching the dried mushrooms and Marmite will also bring the price down a fair bit if you’re not already in possession of one or both of those mentioned above.
By my calculations, this recipe comes in at just under 500 calories per serving, which I’d consider a healthy evening meal. However, that is before you’ve loaded your plate with mash, and bread with way too much butter, as per my serving suggestions. We are punching high in the protein stakes with this one also.
If you like this recipe, and want to save it to your “Winter Warmers”, “Slow Cooking”, “Crock Pot” or “Fall Recipe boards” over on Pinterest I’ve made this super handy pin for you!
Enjoy your slow-cooker chicken casserole – be sure to tag me in any pictures you take over on social media. You can find my links up the top of the page.
Catch you soon!
- 1 Leek
- 300 g Carrots
- 1.3 kg Chicken Drumsticks + Thighs combined weight
- 15 g Dried Mushrooms soaked in 200ml boiling water
- 2 sticks of Celery
- 200 g Mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons Flour
- 700 ml Chicken Stock
- 200 g Parsnips
- couple of sprigs each of Rosemary & Thyme
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tablespoon Marmite
- Peel and chop carrots and parsnips, half mushrooms and finely slice the celery.
- Pour 200ml of boiling water over dried mushrooms and allow to stand for 10 – 15 minutes.
- Heat a glug of oil in a large frying, or cast iron, pan over medium-low heat.
- Add finely sliced leek, and cook until soft.
- Toss chicken in flour, making sure the chicken is fully coated and there is no flour left in the bowl.
- Add the chicken to the pan with the leeks, do this in batches if necessary, turn up the heat. Brown the chicken all over – about 3 – 4 minutes per side.
- Add the chopped vegetables to your slow cooker or crockpot, add peeled and roughly chopped garlic, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and garlic.
- Add chicken and leeks on top of the vegetables, and pour in chicken stock.
- Pour the mushroom stock into the slow cooker, through a sieve. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the mix.
- Pop the lid on your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 6 but up to 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove bay leaf, rosemary and thyme sprigs and serve with creamy mash potato and heavily buttered bread.
- You could use just chicken legs, chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks in this recipe if you prefer.
- I prefer cutting my parsnips and carrots into batons, but you really can cut them however you like.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, you could omit the flour and thicken the gravy with cornflour towards the end of cooking. Just mix 2 tablespoons of cornflour and an equal amount of water, into a slurry and stir into the slow cooker for the final 30 minutes. Make sure your chicken stock is gluten-free also.