This wholesome recipe uses simple ingredients and only one baking dish, making it ideal for any night of the week.
We all love an easy meal we can make quickly on any night of the week, without having to use lots of kitchen utensils that then have to be washed up – bonus points if it can be bulk-cooked too.
Particularly now, as lockdown begins to ease and the weather hots up, most of us would rather be outside sunbathing in the garden or the park rather than spending hours in the kitchen.
That’s where casseroles come in very handy. The following recipe is derived from a traditional dish called Guyvech, popular in the Balkan region – countries such as Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia have their own versions with slight variations on the name, which means “earthenware pot” in Turkish.
A simple yet filling and nutritious meal, it was traditionally popular in peasant and shepherding communities, and is still a family favourite in that part of the world and beyond today.
As it is such a versatile dish you’ll be unlikely to find two recipes that are the same, from the Greek Giouvetsi containing beef, lamb or chicken with pasta to Bulgaria’s Gyuvech with stewed potatoes and pork, to the crispier roasted USA version simply named potato and chicken casserole, adopted from its immigrant communities.
You can make it with any combination of meat and vegetables, with or without a cheese crust, or to suit a vegetarian or vegan diet. The possibilities are infinite, but to keep things simple we’ve included one recipe popular in the USA and other western countries to start you off.
And despite the name, you don’t actually have to make Gyuvech in a traditional earthenware pot. A standard oven dish – the kind you’d use for your Sunday roast – will do just fine.
For a vegetarian/vegan version, simply omit the cheese and/or the chicken.
One-pot chicken and vegetable casserole
- 700g chicken breast
- 700g potatoes
- 2 peppers
- 1 carrot
- 1 onion
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 150g grated cheese
- Optional: 1 sweet potato, 1 parsnip
- Pre-heat the oven to 220°C and oil the baking dish.
- Cut the chicken, potatoes (peeled), peppers, onion and carrots (and sweet potatoes/parsnip if using them) into cubes of roughly equal size. Place into the baking dish.
- Add the herbs and olive oil, and mix them in with your hands.
- Place the dish in the oven, roast for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is white all the way through, stirring halfway through to ensure all layers are equally cooked.
- Remove from oven, cover evenly with cheese.
- Cook for another 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted, preferably on the ‘broil’ setting if your oven has it.