Chicken Earle

Ann Keeling makes a chicken and vegetable gratin with a crisp cheesy top
Chicken Earle
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 5
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 25 g butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 chicken breasts
  • 5 rashers bacon
  • 2 large or 3 mediumcloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced and rinsed
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 150 ml milk
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 25 g button mushrooms
  • bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped

For the topping

  • 55 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 55 g cheese, grated


1. Preheat the oven to 190ÂșC / gas 5. Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and fry, stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the bacon and garlic to the pan and continue cooking for a few minutes, stirring, until the bacon gives off its fat and becomes crisp. Tip in the celery and leek, and stir for a further few minutes until the vegetables soften.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring around for 2 minutes to cook out the raw taste. Gradually stir in the milk and chicken stock to make a smooth sauce. Add the mushrooms and parsley. Transfer the contents of the pan to a large baking dish and smooth the surface.

3. Make the topping by mixing the breadcrumbs and grated cheese together. Sprinkle this generously over the top. Put the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 1520 minutes until the topping is crisp. Serve piping hot.

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