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Overhead shot of cooked casserole, sitting on a brown cloth, with some parsley, feta and olives around the edge.
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Mediterranean Chicken Casserole

If you feel the need for comfort food that is quick and easy to prepare, look no further than this full-of-flavour Mediterranean Chicken Casserole. This one-pot meal is easy enough for a weeknight or ideal for relaxed weekend entertaining. As a bonus, it can be made ahead of time. Be certain, your family and friends will love it.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 709kcal
Author Alexandra

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2.2 lb) chicken thighs - skinless and boneless See Note 1
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil See Note 2
  • 1 large brown/yellow onion - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - finely chopped
  • 800 g (28 oz) crushed tin tomatoes
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock See Note 3
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried chilli/red pepper flakes - or to taste
  • 2 large zucchini/courgette - cut into 1 cm slices (⅓″) wide See Note 4
  • 2 large red capsicum/bell pepper - cut into 3 cm (1”) squares
  • ½ cup Kalamata olives - pitted and halved
  • 2 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley – roughly chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste

To Serve:

  • 200 g (7 oz) feta cheese - crumbled on top
  • flat-leaf parsley - roughly chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (355 F).
  • Trim excess fat from the chicken thighs and cut them into roughly 3 cm (1-inch cubes).
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. This will help to form a brown crust when seared. Season the chicken cubes with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. 
  • Heat the olive oil, over high heat, in a large, heavy-based Dutch Oven or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. The oil should not smoke. You will notice that the oil is hot and ready to use when it begins to shimmer.
  • Add half the chicken to the pan. Brown for several minutes on all sides. See Note 5.
  • Remove the chicken to a plate and set it aside. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • Turn the heat down to low. Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the garlic and cook a further minute and stir again to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Return the cooked chicken, including any juices, to the pan.
    Add the tomatoes, stock, dried oregano, basil and chilli flakes (if using). Stir well to de-glaze the pan and release the browned pieces into the sauce.
  • Bring to a simmer and add the zucchini and capsicum, stir well, cover and place in the preheated oven.
  • Cook for 30-40 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are cooked.
  • Remove from the oven, add the olives and chopped parsley. See Note 6.
  • Check that the seasoning is to your taste, adding additional salt, pepper or chilli flakes if necessary. If you are topping with feta, it will add saltiness.
    Turn into a serving dish or serve, family-style, at the table in the pan in which it was cooked.
    Add some extra chopped parsley and crumbled feta (if using) just before serving.

Video

Notes

  1. Chicken thighs are ideal for casseroles. They are full of flavour, remain tender and hold together well.
  2. The Australian tablespoon is 20 ml or 4 teaspoons. In many countries, the tablespoon is 15 ml or 3 teaspoons. Please adjust the recipe if necessary.
  3. You can use homemade or good quality commercial chicken stock. If you don’t have chicken stock, you can use vegetable stock.
  4. If the zucchini are very large, you could also cut the slices in half.
  5. It is important to not “play” with the chicken. If you try to turn it too soon it will stick to the pan. It will turn easily when it has formed a brown crust. This is an exercise that requires patience. If moved too much, the chicken will release its juices and steam rather than fry. Browning the chicken gives the meat an appetising colour and adds tremendous depth of flavour.
  6. To obtain maximum flavour and freshness of the parsley, add it at the end of cooking.
  7. Please note, the nutritional information is based on four serves. It does not include what the casserole is served with. The nutritional information is an estimate only.

Nutrition

Calories: 709kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 16g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 284mg | Sodium: 2000mg | Potassium: 1993mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 21g | Calcium: 412mg | Iron: 7mg