A toilet seat and chicken casserole

So I went into B&Q to get some courgette plants to replace mine that had failed (the wind snapped them off) but they didn’t have any, anyway as I was on my way out I passed the bathroom section and something caught my eye. You may remember some time ago that the toilet seat (you know the horrendous one) in my ground floor loo had broken, I’ve been looking for a suitable replacement ever since, I’ve been on line looking for ugly toilet seats but they seem hard to find. Anyway back to B&Q, there I was on the way out and I noticed the toilet seats and in particular a worthy replacement. I couldn’t believe my luck and it was only 12 quid. I got to the check out and just happened to comment to the cashier that I had been looking for a really hideous toilet seat to replace the old one and commended them on having one, to which she replied “oh I think it’s quite nice”. Well there’s no accounting for taste, or the lack of it, I mean take a look at the photos.

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So what do you think?

I did a really easy chicken and mushroom casserole the other day and it was fabulous.
Start off with the usual diced onion (small), stick of celery, carrot and 2 rashers of smoked bacon. Now a note about bacon, I’m not talking about that paper thin stuff (that’s full of water) that you get from a packet, no I’m talking about proper rashers that are cut by hand. I’ve tried to show what I mean in the photos.
Put a good knob of I unsalted butter in a pan, melt and add the stock ingredients, fry gently until they become transparent. It’s important not to overcook the stock ingredients as you are going to brown off the chicken with it and you don’t want to burn the other stuff while you’re doing it.

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I used boneless chicken thighs as I think they are tastier. Turn up the heat and add 12 thighs to the pan, brown quickly but keep turning as you don’t want to burn anything. When the meat is browned add a measure of cognac and flame off.

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Add 500ml (pint or thereabouts) of good chicken stock. I had some I’d made but Knorr or other similar will do. If you are using stock cubes use two for a pint. Add a bouquet garni, a bay leaf, lots of black pepper, a small squirt of tomato puree and some rock salt. Cover and pop in the oven for about an hour and a half on a low to medium heat. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally. About twenty minutes before the end add as many mushrooms as you like,cover and leave to cook. At about five minutes from the end remove the lid.
I tend to thicken the stock a bit by adding some plain flour mixed to a creamy paste with water but this is my preference, you can do what you like.

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I served this with lovely ‘sweet heart’ cabbage and rosemary carrots. Enjoy.

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