Meat

Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 skinned and boned chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 4 teaspoons Cajun spice blend
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 100 g (3½ oz) smoked streaky bacon, chopped
  • 2 each red and yellow peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) chicken stock (see page 16)
  • 125 g (4 oz) self-raising flour
  • 125 g (4 oz) cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
  • 75 g (3 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) milk
  • 4 small tomatoes, skinned and quartered
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz) double cream
  • salt and pepper
Directions

Heat the oil in a large, shallow flameproof casserole and fry the chicken pieces for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Stir in the spice blend and cook for a further 1 minute. Drain to a plate.

Add the onion, bacon and peppers and fry for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until beginning to colour.

Return the chicken to the casserole and stir in the stock and a little seasoning. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 45 minutes until the chicken is tender.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the dumplings: mix together the flour, cornmeal, chilli flakes, coriander and cheese in a bowl. Beat the butter with the egg and milk and add to the bowl. Mix together to make a thick paste, that is fairly sticky but holds its shape.

Stir the tomatoes and cream into the chicken mixture and season to taste. Place spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture over the top. Return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes or until the dumplings have slightly risen and form a firm crust.

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