Tuesday 29 September 2015

Chicken casserole with fresh tomatoes

This dish of mine is loosely based on what in our family we used to call "Chicken Marengo". Having looked up Chicken Marengo I see that it is supposed to include crayfish and fried eggs, as well as wine, none of which our dish ever had, so I think it is safer to refer to it as just "Chicken casserole with fresh tomatoes".

We have plenty of fresh tomatoes available at present, and we are using lots of them in our cooking. For this dish I rather appropriately used some of the "Possena del Vesuvio" tomatoes. [Get it? Marengo = a place in Italy. "Possena del Vesuvio" = an Italian tomato variety.]

The reason why the photo shows the tomatoes in a bowl in the kitchen sink is that I put them there in order to skin them, which I did by pouring boiling water over them.

Chicken Casserole with Tomatoes
2 chicken breasts, skinned and cut into large chunks
500g fresh tomatoes, skinned and halved
200g chestnut mushrooms (or similar), sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
750 mils good chicken stock
1 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp dried Herbes de Provence
1 dessertspoon cornflour or other thickening agent
Approx 2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
Salt and pepper to taste

Using about 1 tbsp oil, soften the onions in a casserole dish over a low heat until translucent but not brown
In a frying-pan, use the other 1 tbsp oil to lightly cook the chicken over a medium heat until just beginning to turn golden
Tip the chicken (with its juices) into the casserole dish
Add tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic, stock, dried herbs and seasoning
Bring to the boil (on top of the cooker).

Cover and transfer to the oven
Cook in the oven at 160C for about 90 minutes
About 15 minutes before serving time, add the slaked cornflour or other thickening agent and stir in well
If the sauce is too thin (e.g. if tomatoes were very juicy, or if the mushrooms gave off a lot of liquid), take the dish out of the oven, remove lid, and boil hard for a few minutes to reduce the liquid.

I served my dish with lots of home-grown vegetables - roast potatoes, buttered carrots with chopped parsley, and Runner beans - but I think it would go just as well with pasta or with rice.

OK, that's half a kilo of tomatoes used. Only another 10 kilos to go then...  I'm not complaining though. I love tomatoes, especially home-grown ones!


  1. Yum, that's my kind of food. It's back to these kind of dishes now that the weather's turning cooler.

  2. Oh my, this looks and sounds so yum!

    Thank you for sharing your recipe :)


  3. That sounds delicious - I've bookmarked it. Last year, I skinned, chopped and froze fresh tomatoes in recipe sized portions and we were eating homegrown tomatoes in dishes such as this for most of the winter. It was a last minute "need to use up a lot of tomatoes but don't want to put too much effort into it" thing and it really paid off. I've done that again this year, but purposely this time.

  4. Now that looks a very tasty plate of food ...

    All the best Jan

  5. Now that looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Looks delicious! For me 90 minutes seems like a very long time for chicken breast. my instinct would say 30 minutes on 200c? But maybe the sauce is better your way.

    1. You're right, Fru, you CAN cook chicken in 30 mins, but... Long slow cooking is my preferred method.

  7. Fantastic post - Great explainations and thinking.I'm looking forward to what you have for us next..!


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