This comforting casserole by Mark Murphy is perfect for chilly evenings.


  • Rapeseed oil
  • 8 chicken thighs cut off the bone and in pieces (3 chicken breast will do also)
  • 20g flour (optional)
  • 200g portabello mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1 leek, cleaned and cut into large chunks
  • Couple of sprigs of thyme 
  • Bay leaf
  • Knob of butter
  • 200g streaky bacon, diced
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 150ml cream
  • Handful of fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat a casserole pot or medium-sized pot over a medium to high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour.
  2. Once the pot is hot, add a little oil to the pot and then add the chicken pieces. Allow them to brown, this will take at least five minutes. Once they are brown, remove the chicken and place them on a tray.
  3. Add a little oil to the pot and then add the mushrooms. Allow them to cook for about 3-4 minutes, this should give them a nice dark colour.
  4. Add the shallots, garlic, leek, thyme and bay leaf to the pot, keep the temperature high but keep stirring, after three minutes and a little butter. Cook this for about five minutes. Add the bacon and cook for another 3 minutes or so. You can now add the chicken back to the pot.
  5. Add in the stock and a little of the tarragon, bring this to a simmer. Allow this to cook for about 30 minutes, make sure it is at a simmer but not boiling. Add the cream and cook for a further 15 minutes. The liquid should have reduced and the chicken should be tender at this stage. 
  6. Season well with salt and pepper, add the remaining tarragon. Remove the thyme and bay leaf before serving. 
  7. Serve with some creamy mash potato.