A slow cooker is perfect for those long winter days when you’re out and about, training, working and generally grafting away in the elements. To come home to a warm, comforting dinner that has been simmering away all day is so satisfying. This is a classic casserole and I have in- cluded butternut squash for a bit of variety. This is the kind of recipe where you can throw in whatever you want. It also freezes well for future dinners.
Place the bacon and onions in the slow cooker and put the chicken and butternut squash on top. (Tip: To reduce the cooking time by one hour, boil the chopped squash for 8 minutes in a saucepan to soften it before adding to the slow cooker along with the chicken.)
Pour the boiling water into a measuring jug and add the chicken stock cube. Stir until dissolved. In a large bowl, combine the stock with the tomatoes, mustard, tomato purée, coconut oil and herbs. Stir together and pour into the slow cooker.
Cover and cook for 6–7 hours on low or 3–4 hours on high. One hour before the end of the cooking time, add the mushrooms.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve with some steamed broccoli and French beans.