Cranberry Chicken Casserole has been a favourite dish in our family for generations (well three anyway). It uses cranberry sauce, adding some sweetness so that children will love it too
Cranberry Chicken Casserole
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The recipe calls for red wine but, as the alcohol burns off in the cooking, it’s still okay for kids. The rest of the secret of the sauce comes from a tin of condensed tomato soup. Believe me, it all works together to make a great-tasting casserole, fit to serve to guests.
I first made Cranberry Chicken Casserole in my I-love-spending-time-cooking days, and I used a whole chicken which I would cut into joints. Fast forward to Everyday Cooking and I buy packs of boneless thighs and breasts and the most I do is to take off the skins and cut the breasts in half
I sometimes make a variation on this casserole, which uses tomato puree as well as tomato soup. Just double the quantities of chicken, onions, mushrooms, lemon juice and cranberry sauce. Use one can of condensed soup and one small can (140g) of tomato puree with 250ml wine. The method is the same, but this version is slightly less sweet.
I tend to make this second version most of the time as it freezes really well and I can feel virtuous that I have a special meal in the freezer. As it’s a favourite with all my children, stepchildren, etc. I always have this in the freezer for a pre-Christmas meal.
If you do make a large batch of Basic Chicken Casserole, you could jazz that up with shallots, mushrooms, cranberry sauce and tomato puree instead of cooking it all from scratch.
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Cranberry chicken casserole is an easy meal that looks and tastes out of the ordinary. Ideal for entertaining without too much effort.
You will need:
- A very large saucepan or stockpot with a lid
- 200g button mushrooms
- 200g shallots (or onions)
- 4 chicken thighs
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil (I prefer coconut oil)
- 1 jar cranberry sauce (250-300g)
- 1 tin condensed tomato soup, approx. 300g (e.g. Campbell’s)
- 150ml red wine
- 30 ml lemon juice
- Clean and trim the mushrooms
- Peel the shallots or onions
- Finely chop the onions
- Remove the skin from the chicken pieces
- Cut the chicken breasts in half
For the Cranberry Chicken Casserole:
- Heat the oil on medium-high in a very large saucepan or stockpot
- Cook the shallots (or onions) and mushrooms until golden (about 10 minutes)
- Remove from the pan with a fish-slice or slotted spoon and put aside on a plate
- Put the chicken in the pan and brown on both sides (5-10 minutes)
- If your pan isn’t big enough for all the chicken at once, do this in batches
- Remove the chicken from the pan and add the condensed soup and the cranberry sauce with some of the wine
- Stir until the soup is smooth, then add the rest of the wine with the lemon juice and bring to the boil
- Put the chicken, mushrooms and shallots back in the pan
- Season with salt
- Bring to the boil then turn the heat down to low and simmer for 45 minutes
- Taste and add pepper and more salt if needed
Everyday Cooks tip: Make double quantities, but use a 140g tin tomato puree instead of the second tin of soup, and 250ml red wine, and freeze half for another day. (This makes a slightly less sweet casserole).
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Hob
- Cuisine: British
Keywords: Easy, entertaining, chicken casserole