Chicken Casserole with Pesto Dumplings


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 8 Chicken thighs, on the bone
  • 100g Pancetta, cubes
  • 1 large Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks Celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Plain flour
  • 1 litre Chicken stock
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh chopped parsley to garnish


  • 150g Self-raising flour, plus extra to dust
  • 75g Vegetable suet
  • 1 tbsp Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Sacla’ Classic Basil Pesto
  • 5 tbsp Water, cold


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6
  2. Heat oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat
  3. Brown chicken thighs in batches for a few minutes on each side, then remove and set aside
  4. In the same pan, fry pancetta for a couple of minutes, then stir in vegetables and cook for a further 5 minutes, until they start to brown
  5. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute
  6. Pour over the stock, season, and return chicken to the casserole dish along with any juices that have been released
  7. Bring to a simmer, cover with the lid and cook in the oven for 30 minutes
  8. Meanwhile, make the dumplings by mixing together the flour, suet and a pinch of salt in a bowl
  9. Add the parsley, Sacla’ Pesto and about 5 tbsp of cold water
  10. Use your hands to bring together into a soft, but not sticky, dough (add extra flour if needed)
  11. Divide dough into 8 and roll into evenly sized balls
  12. Sit them on a lightly floured plate until ready to cook
  13. After the 30 minutes, remove casserole lid and arrange dumplings on top of chicken
  14. Replace lid and cook for another 20 minutes
  15. Remove lid and cook for a further 10-15 minutes, until the dumplings are golden and casserole is bubbling
  16. Leave to rest for a few minutes then serve scattered with parsley
Serves: 6Cooking time: Share recipeReview this recipe


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