Looking for cold weather comfort food without the faff? This Slow Cooker Chicken Casserole recipe is so quick to prepare. The stew is packed with vegetables and in a delicious creamy sauce with crispy bacon bits. Cosiness in a bowl!
Fry your bacon lardons either in a small frying pan, or in the bottom of your slow cooker pan if it can be used on the hob. Let them go crispy and golden brown.
Meanwhile, put your chicken thighs in a large bowl and coat thoroughly in the flour.
When the bacon has finished cooking, put the onions, celery, carrots and bacon pieces into your slow cooker (or leave the bacon pieces in that pan if they've been cooking in there).
Sit the flour rolled chicken pieces on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
Mix the stock, mustard, thyme and salt and pepper and pour into the slow cooker, around the side of the chicken.
Put the lid on and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for at least 6 hours.
When you're ready to serve, add the creme fraiche and the chopped parsley. Check for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.
Note 1 - Carrots - I used baby carrots whole, but you can just use regular carrots peeled and chopped into large chunks if you prefer.
Note 2 - Bacon lardons - You don't NEED to add these if you don't want to add the step of pre frying them HOWEVER, I think they really add a lot of flavour. They do need to be fried before adding to make them crispy.
Lardons are basically fat chunks of bacon, you can buy them in packs cut to that size, which adds lovely textured chunks. Or you can just use smoked bacon cut into chunks.
When you fry these, they won't need any oil as the fat will render out. I like to add the fat juices from the pan along with the bacon pieces as they add more flavour.
Note 3 - Thyme
I actually use 2 TABLESPOONS of dried thyme as I find slow cooker casseroles can sometimes be a little bland as they don't reduce whilst cooking so you need to make adjustments to use more flavourings than you normally would. I've reduced the amount in the recipe as I know that might not be to everyone's taste. Use more if like me your tastebuds need a lot for them to pack a punch!