I don’t know about you but despite the fact that weather is finally heading in the right direction with lots of sunshine and warm temperatures I still cannot say no to some comfort food cooking. Having said that, this particular Wild Garlic Pesto Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings (I know it’s a mouthful lol) has in fact really summery feel to it and is full to the brim with veg too.
This recipe is relatively quick as casseroles go due to the use of chicken thighs and also uses one pot only which is a bonus. You will need to make your food processor or a bowl dirty in order to make dumplings but that’s it.
If you follow the blog you know that I have been a little bit besoted with wild garlic this season and have been enjoying it in many different recipes from Wild Garlic Hummus, through Wild Garlic & Walnut Pesto to Roast Chicken with Wild Garlic Pesto & Shallots. This Wild Garlic Pesto Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings is my second recipe that uses wild garlic pesto but feel free to use any pesto that you’ve got available as I am aware that wild garlic might be a bit difficult to come by. However, I would definitely stick to green type of pesto as opposed to red (roasted pepper) one as it’s got more of a Spring/Summer feel to me.
Being one pot dish this lovely casserole doesn’t really need anything to go with it but I thought that serving it with a side of this season’s first roasted asparagus would not go amiss. And oh boy was I right! We had clean plates all round with kids going berserk about dumplings and generally the entire dish! It’s our new favourite for sure and although next time I might have to substitute gorgeous wild garlic pesto with the regular one, I’m sure it will be a huge hit yet again.
You might want to consider making your own chicken stock to use here. It really couldn’t be easier and you can have a nice stash in your freezer to take out and use whenever you need. Check out my guide on How To Make Chicken Stock in Instant Pot (with instructions for hob/stovetop users too)!
Wild Garlic Pesto Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings
- 6 skinless & boneless chicken thighs cut into small chunks
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 2 leeks cleaned, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 celery stalks cut into small chunks
- 3 carrots cut into small chunks
- 6 small(ish) potatoes (roughly 400g) cut into small chunks
- 1 bay leaf
- 30 g unsalted butter
- 1 heaped Tbsp plain flour
- 100 g frozen peas
- 600 ml chicken stock from cube is fine
- 1 small jar (125ml) wild garlic pesto or regular pesto
- fresh parsley for garnish
- salt, pepper, oil
- 250 g self-raising flour
- 125 g unsalted butter cold and cubed
- 100 g mature cheddar grated
- 100 ml ice cold water
- Prepare all the vegetables as per instructions above.
- Heat a glug of oil in a heavy duty casserole dish with the lid and sautée chicken thighs seasoned with some salt and pepper for approx. 5 min until they start to brown. Take them out of the dish with slotted spoon and set aside.
- Melt butter in the same dish and sautée prepared onions and leeks until they start to soften approx. 5 min. Add remaining vegetables and bay leaf and sautée for another 5 min.
- Sprinkle over the flour, pour in stock and give it all a good stir. Add chicken pieces making sure they are immersed in the liquid, bring everything to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 min. whilst you prepare your dumplings.
- For dumplings mix flour and butter in the food processor or by hand until they resemble breadcrumbs. Mix in grated cheese and season with some salt and pepper. Slowly pour in icy cold water and keep mixing your dough only until it comes together (you don't want to overmix it). Divide the dough into 12 equal size balls and set aside until needed.
- After 15 minutes of simmering, add pesto and frozen peas to your casserole and mix well. Place dumplings on top, cover tightly with a lid and simmer for approx. 20-25 min until cooked.
- Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley and roasted asparagus or any other seasonal veg. Enjoy!
- If you don't have wild garlic pesto you can use any green pesto you've got on hand, store bought one is fine too.
Have you tried my Wild Garlic Pesto Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, I love reading them!
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I’m linking my Wild Garlic Pesto Chicken Casserole with Cheesy Dumplings with the following pages:
Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Corina at Searching for Spice
Brilliant Blog Posts hosted by Vicki at Honest Mum Blog
Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily at A Mummy Too