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The Hairy Bikers' chicken and ham Christmas casserole

The Hairy Bikers are back to cook a dish which is perfect for a festive family gathering. This is a great way to use up any leftover meat over Christmas and the topping is made from stuffing ingredients and turns out beautifully crunchy and tasty.

Chicken and ham Christmas casserole

Serves: 4


50g butter

3 leeks, cut into rounds

30g plain flour

100ml white wine

500ml chicken stock

100ml double cream

400g cooked chicken (or turkey), diced

150g ham, diced

2 tarragon sprigs, leaves finely chopped

100g peas, defrosted

6 cubes of frozen spinach, defrosted

Salt and black pepper

Stuffing crust

100g breadcrumbs

1 small onion, grated

100g chestnuts, grated

50g dried cranberries, soaked in warm water (optional)

2 tsp dried sage

Small bunch of parsley, finely chopped

Large knob of butter


  • First make the filling: Heat the butter in a large flameproof casserole dish. When it has melted, add the leeks with plenty of seasoning and turn down the heat. Cover the dish with a lid and leave the leeks to cook gently until tender. Stir regularly and try not to let them take on any colour.

  • Stir the flour into the dish to form a roux around the leeks. Add the wine and stir vigorously – it will thicken considerably. Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly, until you have incorporated it all, then add the cream. Fold in the turkey or chicken, ham, tarragon and peas.

  • Squeeze any excess water from the spinach, then stir the spinach into the dish. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.

  • To make the topping: mix the breadcrumbs, onion, chestnuts, drained cranberries and the herbs, then season with plenty of salt and pepper

  • Sprinkle this mixture over the top of the filling, then dot with butter. Bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes until the filling is bubbling and breaking through the crisp, golden-brown topping.

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