Chicken casserole with English ale and stilton and walnut dumplings

For a hearty and flavourful meal try Ed Baines's slow-cooked chicken casserole served with blue cheese dumplings
By Ed Baines
Chicken casserole with English ale and stilton and walnut dumplings
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 55 g flour
  • black pepper
  • 8 chicken pieces
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 115 g unsalted butter
  • 8 rashers of streaky bacon, chopped
  • 4 leeks, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 Spanish onion, chopped
  • 4 clove garlic, chopped
  • 4 sprig thyme, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 350 ml ale, ideally Old Speckled Hen
  • 1 tsp malt vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 225 g small turnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks

For the dumplings:

  • 50 g stilton cheese, chopped
  • 25 g walnuts, chopped
  • 100 g flour
  • 50 g suet
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • a good grating of nutmeg
  • a pinch of pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.

2. Season the flour generously with salt and freshly ground pepper. Dust the chicken portions with the seasoned flour and sage.

3. Heat the butter in a large casserole dish. Add in the chicken and brown on all sides. Remove the chicken and put to one side.

4. Add the chopped bacon to the casserole dish and fry for 2 minutes. Add in the leeks, carrot, celery, onion and garlic and fry gently, stirring often, for 4-5 minutes.

5. Add the chopped thyme, sugar, ale, malt vinegar and the Dijon mustard and bring to the boil.

6. Pour the chicken stock into the dish, then add the browned chicken, bay leaf, turnips and parsnips.

7. Cover and bake in the preheated oven for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 140°C/gas 1 and bake in the oven for a further 1 hour 30 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, make the dumplings. Place the Stilton, walnuts, flour, suet, egg yolks in a bowl. Add in the salt, freshly grated nutmeg and freshly ground pepper, mixing well.

9. Combine the Stilton mixture into a dough and shape into small, even-sized balls.

10. Half an hour before the casserole has completed baking, scatter the dumplings over the casserole the top and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

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