Chicken Gratin

Chicken GratinLove the idea of this as you can make and freeze ahead – definitely a plus point in my book!  Plus, who doesn’t like chicken (apart from vegetarians obviously) – it is so popular and a surefire winner with kids and adults alike.


Ingredients serves 4
75 g (3oz) butter
1 onion, finely sliced
500g pack chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
150 g (5oz) frozen peas
50 g (2oz) plain flour
500 ml (17 fl 0z) milk
3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 medium floury potatoes

How to prepare
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4. Melt 25g (1oz) of the butter in a large pan and gently fry the onion and chicken for 10min until onion is softened. Stir in the peas, and then empty mixture into a sieve set over a bowl to drain excess moisture.
Set aside 1tsp of the remaining butter, and then add the rest to the empty pan and melt over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 30sec. Take pan off heat and gradually mix in the milk until smooth. Return pan to heat and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and smooth – about 5min.
Add the thyme leaves, mustard and plenty of seasoning. Pour into a large ovenproof serving dish and stir in the drained chicken mixture.
Cut the potatoes (unpeeled) into 5mm (1/4in) rounds. Arrange slices over the chicken mixture in a single layer, overlapping slightly. Melt the remaining teaspoon of butter, then brush lightly over the potatoes. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Cook in the oven for 45-50min or until the potatoes are lightly golden and tender. Serve with steamed greens, if you like.

Complete recipe. Cool completely, then cover and freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, defrost overnight in the fridge. Uncover and reheat in an oven preheated to 180°C (160°C fan) mark 4 for about 40min or until piping hot.