Chicken and Chinese Five-spice Casserole

Chicken and Chinese Five-spice Casserole

Serves 4


  • 4 chicken thighs, skinned 
if preferred
  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2.5cm (1in) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 level tbsps gluten-free plain flour
  • ½ stock cube dissolved in 425ml (15fl oz) boiling water (150ml/5fl oz if slow cooking)
  • ⅛–¼ tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Chinese Five-spice powder
  • 2 tbsps tomato purée (optional)
  • 200ml (7fl oz) coconut milk
  • 4 good handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • Salt and black pepper

This is a favourite recipe of mine – chicken in a mild and delicately flavoured creamy sauce. It’s one I often turn to when friends are coming to supper and I want a dish that I know they will love but is easy for me to prepare.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan), gas mark 4.
  2. Place the chicken in a casserole dish or slow cooker and add the sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, ginger and gluten-free flour. Toss the ingredients to coat them in the flour, then push the chicken joints to the base of the casserole if they are skinned or if you are using a slow cooker.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients (except the spinach and salt and pepper) and pour over the chicken and vegetables.
  4. Cover the casserole with a lid and cook on the middle shelf of the oven for about 2 hours, or slow cook for 6–8 hours (check your slow-cooker manual for timing).
  5. Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking, toss in the spinach. There may seem a lot, but it will soon wilt down and become part of the sauce.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, if needed, and serve.