Chicken Casserole

A rich traditional British recipe for chicken casserole with delicious mushroom and thyme dumplings

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  • Serves 4

  • Prep time 30 mins

  • Cooking time 50 mins

  • Total time 1 hr 20 mins

  • Calories 647 per serving


  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 25g (1oz) unsalted butter
  • 8 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into
  • 2.5cm (1in) lengths 3 medium leeks, washed and cut into 2.5cm (1in) lengths
  • 12 baby turnips, tops trimmed
  • 1tsp thyme leaves, chopped
  • 200ml (1/3pt) rich Madeira
  • 500ml (18fl oz) chicken stock
  • 1tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
For the dumplings
  • 100g (4oz) self-raising flour
  • 50g (2oz) light Atora suet
  • 1dsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 50g (2oz) chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 1tsp thyme leaves, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, 300 F, gas 4. Heat the oil and butter in a casserole dish. Dust the chicken thighs with the flour and fry skin-side down until golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients (apart from the parsley), bring to the boil, place a lid on top and bake for 25 minutes.

  2. To make the dumplings, sift the flour into a bowl, add the suet and season. Heat the oil in a frying pan. When hot add the onion and garlic, and fry until golden brown. Add the mushrooms and thyme, and cook until the mixture is dry. Add the mixture to the flour, stir well and add enough cold water to make an elastic dough that leaves the sides of the bowl clean. Shape into 4 balls.

  3. Remove the casserole from the oven and increase the heat to 200 C, 180 C fan, 400 F, gas 6. If the gravy seems thin then mix 1dsp cornflour with a little cold water, add to the casserole and stir. Place the dumplings on top of the casserole and return to the oven for 20 minutes. Scatter the parsley over and serve.