Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole Recipe

Last updated on April 11, 2024

Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 2 Hr Total Time: 2 Hr 20 Mins

The Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole is a heartwarming dish, perfect for bringing a touch of warmth and comfort to any table. Renowned for its rich flavors and tender chicken pieces simmered in a delightful cider sauce, this recipe offers a cozy embrace in every bite. Ideal for family dinners, special gatherings, or simply when the craving for something deeply satisfying strikes, it serves 6-8 people and can be prepared in about 1 to 1.5 hours.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the process of creating the Hairy Bikers’ Chicken Cider Casserole, complete with tips and tricks to ensure your dish turns out wonderfully.

What is Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole?

The Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole is a delightful blend of succulent chicken pieces, bathed in a robust cider sauce, and accompanied by a medley of vegetables and herbs. This dish embodies the essence of comfort food, offering a depth of flavor that is both rich and satisfying.

Chicken Cider Casserole Recipe Hairy Bikers

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Rich and Comforting: The combination of tender chicken, robust cider, and hearty vegetables creates a deeply satisfying dish.
  • Versatile Serving Options: It pairs wonderfully with various sides, making it a versatile choice for any meal.
  • Perfect for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a cozy family dinner or a festive gathering, this casserole is sure to impress.

Ingredients Needed to Make Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole

  • Chicken Thighs: 8 pieces, bone-in for extra flavor
  • Apple Cider: 500 ml, preferably dry
  • Vegetables: 2 carrots, 1 onion, 2 celery sticks, all chopped
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
  • Flour: 2 tablespoons, for thickening
  • Chicken Stock: 250 ml
  • Herbs: Thyme and bay leaves for seasoning
  • Olive Oil: For browning the chicken
  • Salt & Pepper: To taste

Useful Equipment

  • Large Casserole Dish: Suitable for both stovetop and oven.
  • Sharp Knife: For preparing the ingredients.
  • Cutting Board: To chop vegetables and chicken.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: For accurate ingredient measurement.
  • Wooden Spoon: For stirring the ingredients.

Instructions to Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole

Step 1. Preparation of Ingredients

  • Prep the Veggies: Begin by chopping your carrots, onion, and celery into bite-sized pieces. Mince the garlic finely.
  • Season the Chicken: Pat the chicken thighs dry and season generously with salt and pepper.

Step 1. Browning the Chicken

  • Heat the Pan: In a large casserole dish or heavy-bottomed pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Brown the Chicken: Add the chicken thighs skin-side down and cook until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes per side. Remove the chicken and set aside.

Step 3. Sauteing the Vegetables

  • Saute Veggies: In the same pot, add the chopped vegetables and garlic, sautéing until they start to soften, around 5 minutes.

Step 4. Creating the Sauce

  • Deglaze with Cider: Pour the cider into the pot to deglaze, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Allow to simmer and reduce slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Add Flour: Sprinkle the flour over the veggies and stir well to combine. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Combine with Stock: Slowly add the chicken stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Bring to a simmer.

Step 5. Combining Ingredients

  • Return the Chicken: Add the chicken thighs back into the pot, along with thyme and bay leaves. Make sure the chicken is submerged in the liquid.
  • Simmer: Cover and simmer on low heat for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.

Step 6. Finishing Touches

  • Final Seasoning: Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks before serving.

Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole

What Do I Serve With Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole?

  • Creamy Mashed Potatoes: The perfect base to soak up the delicious cider sauce.
  • Steamed Green Beans: A crisp, fresh side that contrasts the richness of the casserole.
  • Rustic Bread: Ideal for dipping into the flavorful sauce.
  • Garden Salad: A light, refreshing side to balance the hearty main dish.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole

  • Deepen Flavors: Sauté a tablespoon of tomato paste with the vegetables to introduce a subtle depth and richness to the casserole.
  • Herb Infusion: Wrap the thyme, along with bay leaves and parsley stems, in a piece of cheesecloth, creating a bouquet garni for an easily removable, concentrated herb flavor.
  • Cider Selection: Experiment with different ciders to find the one that best suits your taste; a sharper cider for tanginess, or a sweeter one for a mild, fruity flavor.
  • Searing Technique: Ensure the chicken skin is thoroughly dried before searing to achieve the crispiest texture.
  • Slow Cook Option: Consider transferring the casserole to a slow cooker after browning the ingredients for an even softer, more melded flavor profile.

Variations of Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole

Adapting the classic Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole allows for personalization and experimentation. These variations invite creativity and can cater to different dietary preferences or ingredient availability.

  • Go Gluten-Free: Use cornstarch instead of flour for thickening to make this dish gluten-free.
  • Vegetarian Version: Substitute chicken with mushrooms and chickpeas for a hearty vegetarian alternative.
  • Creamy Delight: Add a dollop of Dijon mustard and a splash of cream towards the end of cooking for a creamy, tangy twist.
  • Spicy Edition: Incorporate a teaspoon of smoked paprika or a sprinkle of chili flakes for a warm, spicy kick.
  • Low-Carb Option: Replace traditional root vegetables with low-carb alternatives like radishes and turnips, and thicken the sauce with xanthan gum instead of flour.

How to Store Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole Leftovers

Proper storage of Chicken Cider Casserole leftovers is essential to maintain its flavor and safety for consumption.

These steps ensure your delightful dish remains just as enjoyable the next day.

  • Cool Quickly: Allow the casserole to cool to room temperature within two hours of cooking.
  • Airtight Containers: Transfer leftovers to airtight containers to preserve freshness.
  • Refrigerate Promptly: Store in the refrigerator and consume within 3-4 days.
  • Labeling: Mark containers with the date to keep track of storage time.
  • Separate Portions: Divide into individual servings for easier reheating.

How to Reheat Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole Leftovers

Reheating your Chicken Cider Casserole correctly ensures that it remains just as delicious as when it was first made.

Follow these tips for the best results.

  • Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and cover the casserole with foil to retain moisture.
  • Stovetop Revival: Reheat gently in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Adding Moisture: If the casserole seems dry, add a splash of cider or water.
  • Microwave Magic: For a quick option, microwave on medium power in a covered dish, stirring midway.
  • Check Temperature: Ensure the casserole reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before serving.

Nutrition value (per serving)

  • Calories: Approximately 500 kcal
  • Protein: 38 g
  • Fat: 25 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 18 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 950 mg
  • Cholesterol: 215 mg


Can I Make Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can prepare this casserole ahead of time, making it an excellent option for meal planning or entertaining. Simply follow the recipe up until the baking step, then cool and refrigerate. When ready to serve, reheat in the oven until piping hot throughout. This can enhance the flavors as they meld together overnight.

Is Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole Suitable for Freezing?

This casserole freezes beautifully. Allow the cooked casserole to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating thoroughly in the oven or on the stovetop.

How Can I Thicken the Sauce Without Flour?

If you’re looking for a gluten-free option or simply prefer not to use flour, cornstarch is an excellent thickener. Mix a small amount of cornstarch with cold water to make a slurry, then stir it into the casserole towards the end of the cooking time. Allow the dish to simmer for a few minutes to thicken the sauce and cook off any starchy flavor.

What Can I Substitute for Dry Cider in the Casserole?

If dry cider is not available, you can substitute it with a mixture of apple juice and a splash of apple cider vinegar for a similar tangy, fruity depth. Alternatively, white wine or chicken broth can also be used, though the flavor profile will be slightly different.

Final Words

The Hairy Bikers Chicken Cider Casserole is more than just a dish; it’s a comforting embrace in the form of food. It’s a recipe that brings together simple ingredients to create a symphony of flavors, making it a perfect addition to your culinary repertoire. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking for a comforting meal to share with your family, this casserole promises to delight you.

Remember, cooking is not just about following recipes—it’s about making them your own. So, don’t hesitate to experiment with the variations and tips provided. Happy cooking, and enjoy the rich, comforting flavors of this beloved casserole!

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