Mary Berry Chicken Casserole Recipe

Mary Berry Chicken Casserole Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 40 Mins Total Time: 1 Hr 10 Mins

Mary Berry Chicken Casserole is a classic, heartwarming dish that combines tender chicken pieces with a rich, flavorful broth and a variety of vegetables. This casserole is the epitome of comfort food, offering a satisfying and hearty meal perfect for family dinners or cozy nights. Known for its depth of flavor and ease of preparation, it’s a reliable go-to recipe for both novice and experienced cooks alike.

In this article, I’ll guide you through Mary Berry’s Chicken Casserole recipe, providing tips on how to get tender chicken and a perfectly balanced sauce.

What is Mary Berry Chicken Casserole Recipe?

Mary Berry chicken casserole is a type of baked dish that consists of cooked chicken pieces, vegetables, and a sauce, all mixed together and topped with cheese, breadcrumbs, or pastry. It is named after Mary Berry, a famous British cook and author, who created this recipe and shared it on her TV show and books. This dish is easy to make, full of flavor, and perfect for any occasion.

Designed to serve 4-6 people, this chicken casserole can be prepared without much fuss, making it a practical choice for a fulfilling and delicious dinner.

Mary Berry Chicken Casserole

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Why You Love this Recipe

Mary Berry’s Chicken Casserole stands out as an exemplary dish for various reasons:

  • Ease of Preparation: This casserole is straightforward to make, requiring no complex kitchen skills and using everyday pantry items.
  • Comfort Food: Its creamy, rich texture combined with tender chicken and vegetables offers a satisfying and comforting meal, ideal for colder days.
  • Flavorful: The blend of spices, particularly the thyme, along with the hearty chicken flavor, makes every bite delicious.
  • Flexible Recipe: You have the freedom to use either fresh or canned vegetables and adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences.
  • Nutritious: Loaded with protein from the chicken and packed with vitamins from the vegetables, this casserole is both tasty and nutritious.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Chicken Casserole Recipe

To make this Mary Berry chicken casserole recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 cup of milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 2 cups of frozen peas
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Chicken Casserole

To make this Mary Berry chicken casserole recipe, follow these steps:

Step 1: Make the Sauce

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) or 350°F (320°F fan) and grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until smooth and bubbly.
  • Gradually whisk in the chicken stock and the milk, stirring well to avoid lumps. Season with salt and pepper, and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.

Step 2: Cook the Chicken and the Vegetables

  • In a large skillet over high heat, heat the oil and brown the chicken pieces on all sides, for about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, cook the onion and the garlic for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent.
  • Add the carrots, the celery, the bay leaf, and the thyme, and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender.
  • Stir in the frozen peas and remove the bay leaf.

Step 3: Assemble and Bake the Casserole

  • In a large bowl, toss the chicken pieces with half of the cheese and half of the sauce. Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
  • Spoon the remaining sauce over the chicken layer, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  • Bake the casserole for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
  • Garnish with parsley and serve hot, with bread, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Easy Mary Berry Chicken Casserole Recipe

 

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Chicken Casserole?

Complement Mary Berry’s Chicken Casserole with these sides for a more complete meal:

  • Bread Varieties: Crusty bread, garlic bread, or cornbread can be great for dipping into the casserole’s sauce.
  • Rice Options: Serve with white, brown, or wild rice, which can be flavored with chicken stock, butter, and herbs.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes make a comforting addition and can be enhanced with cheese, sour cream, or bacon.
  • Fresh Salads: Pair with a crisp green salad, kale salad, or coleslaw for a refreshing side that adds a crunch.

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Chicken Casserole

Achieve the best results with these expert tips:

  • Choice of Chicken: Use any preferred cut of chicken, adjusting cooking times as necessary. For convenience, leftover cooked or rotisserie chicken can also be used.
  • Vegetable Options: Feel free to add a variety of vegetables or use frozen ones for convenience.
  • Sauce Preparation: Make the sauce ahead of time to simplify the cooking process. It can be refrigerated or frozen until needed.
  • Advance Preparation: The entire casserole can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge or freezer, making it perfect for meal planning.

Variations of Mary Berry Chicken Casserole

Try these variations to keep the recipe exciting:

  • Soup-Based Sauce: For a quicker version, use cream of chicken or mushroom soup mixed with water or milk.
  • Cheese Choices: Experiment with different cheeses for the topping, such as mozzarella, parmesan, or a vegan alternative.
  • Crust Alternatives: For a pot pie feel, top the casserole with puff pastry, biscuit dough, or pie crust and bake until the crust is golden.

How do I store Mary Berry Chicken Casserole Leftovers?

Proper storage of Mary Berry’s Chicken Casserole leftovers ensures they remain delicious and safe to consume. Follow these guidelines:

  1. Cooling: Allow the casserole to cool completely to room temperature. To hasten the process, set the dish on a wire rack or trivet.
  2. Portioning: Depending on your needs, either divide the casserole into individual servings or store it as a whole in an appropriately sized container.
  3. Labeling: Clearly label the storage container with the dish’s name and the date. Use freezer-safe markers to prevent smudging.
  4. Refrigerating or Freezing: Store the container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months. Ensure there’s enough space around the container for adequate airflow.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Chicken Casserole Leftovers?

Reheating your casserole can be done using various methods, based on convenience and time:

  • Thawing (If Frozen): Thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight. For quicker thawing, use the microwave’s defrost setting.
  • Room Temperature Preparation: If refrigerated, let the casserole sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before reheating.
  • Oven Reheating: Preheat your oven to 180°C (160°C fan) or 350°F (320°F fan). Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for 15-20 minutes, until thoroughly heated. Remove the foil in the last 5 minutes for a crispier topping.
  • Microwave Reheating: Place the casserole in a microwave-safe dish and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Stir midway to ensure even heating.
  • Stovetop Reheating: Transfer the casserole to a skillet, adding a small amount of water or chicken stock to loosen the sauce. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Optionally, sprinkle cheese on top and briefly broil to melt and brown the cheese.

Is it possible to prepare this chicken casserole in advance?

Absolutely. You can prepare the casserole ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking. If you choose to freeze it, assemble the casserole without baking, cover it tightly, and freeze. When ready to eat, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bake as per the recipe instructions.

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