John Torode’s Hearty chicken casserole with dumplings recipe

(581 ratings)

You can't beat a good hearty chicken casserole in the cold winter months. John Torode has created a classic recipe complete with tasty dumplings

Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins

You can't beat a good hearty chicken casserole in the cold winter months. John Torode has created a classic recipe complete with tasty dumplings.


  • 6 chicken breasts, bone in, each cut into 3 pieces
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 350g button onions, peeled, or 4 medium onions, peeled and cut into 8
  • 200g smoked bacon
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300g flat mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into hunks
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 375ml red wine
  • 300ml chicken stock (page 20)
  • salt and pepper


  • 150g suet
  • 350g self raising flour
  • 150ml warm water




  1. To make this chicken casserole (opens in new tab), heat the oven to 200°C (gas 6). Put the flour in a plastic bag and season with lots of salt and pepper. Drop the chicken into the flour and shake like mad to coat well.
  2. In a large casserole, brown the chicken pieces over a high heat. Remove the chicken and reduce the heat.
  3. Add the onions and bacon and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until they are coloured and smell good. Add the garlic, then the mushies, carrots, potatoes, bay leaves and redcurrant jelly. Stir well.
  4. Put the chook back in and stir to coat well. Pour in the wine and stock. Cover and bring to the boil then transfer the pot to the oven for 40 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile for the dumplings, combine the suet, flour and a big pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Gradually stir in the warm water, mixing to give a heavy dough. Roll the mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball. Take the casserole from the oven, drop the dumplings into it and return to the oven for a final 20 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked.

Read our tried and tested reviews of the best slow cookers. (opens in new tab)

John Torode is one of the UK’s most well known celebrity chefs, having been a judge on television cooking shows, Masterchef, Celebrity Masterchef and Junior Masterchef for oven ten years. Originally from Australia, John began his cooking career at 16 years old after leaving school to attend catering college. In 1991 he moved to London where he soon began working at famous restaurant, Le Pont de la Tour and Quaglino’s as a sous chef. It was while working at the latter restaurant that John Torode first met Masterchef co-host Gregg Wallace. Alongside his presenting work, John owns the Smiths (opens in new tab) franchise, which is located in the iconic Smithfields market in London. The Grade II listed building is set over four floors and promises to give diner a different culinary and drinking experience on each level. He’s also no stranger to philanthropy work, combining his experience the food industry with a passion for helping those in need. Torode was one of the people behind the “Come…Eat Together!” project, as featured on BBC News. The campaign encourages the elderly to get together in the community and enjoy home cooked food together, facilitating better social connections and exploring new ways for the elderly to their food shopping. John himself is a chef is best known for simple, family recipes. He once said, “My world as I know it started with my Nanna’s roasting tin, a chicken and a wooden spoon. The food she cooked was always simple but delicious. Her cauliflower cheese was awesome, her caramel slice was wonderful and I am still searching for a recipe to make her apple tea cake.” While we might not have the recipe for John's Nanna's teacake, we do have plenty of his recipes designed for indulgent homecooking. Like this one for a hearty chicken casserole (opens in new tab), and baked apples and custard (opens in new tab) for dessert. In 2019, John Torode married long-term girlfriend, fellow chef Lisa Faulker. .