Snowed In: a Healthy Chicken Shepard's Pie
Today was one of those *absolutely perfect days* where the roads are too icy to leave the house and you get to stay in, wear comfy clothes, and play and read stories with your baby. It's 7 pm, Ella is asleep and I already miss today. Although sipping on a nice Sicilian red and eating half of this casserole is not a bad consolation prize.
For this dish, I was inspired by a recipe on Ashley Fehr's blog, The Recipe Rebel, in which she uses similar ingredients to cook up her ground turkey leftovers from Thanksgiving. I personally had ground chicken to use up (apparently René doesn't like chili, so this was a great alternative!) and, by switching up a few ingredients, I happily prepared -and scarfed down- this meat pie on a snowy afternoon, to the soundtrack of Ella's snores. I would not have it any other way.
Before you view the ingredients list, just know that depending on what you have in your fridge, you could also go with carrots, red onions, chopped broccoli, grilled cauliflower, corn, and so many other options. Starch and a nice broth can accompany just about anything quite beautifully.
You will need,
Lemon salt (a pinch)
Paprika (a dash, to sprinkle right before placing the dish in the oven)
Ground chicken (1 lbs, 454 g)
Butter (2 tbsp, I used lemon-herbs butter, which paired well with the lemon salt I sprinkled on the meat)
Frozen green peas (1 cup)
Flour (2 tbsp)
Yellow onion (1, chopped)
Celery (3 ribs, thinly sliced)
Dried oregano (a pinch)
Basil salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
Chicken broth (1 1/2 cup)
For the potatoes,
Milk (1/4 cup)
Scallions (3, thinly sliced)
Golden potatoes (6-7, mashed)
A few steps,
1. In a large pot over medium-heat, melt butter and throw in onions and celery. Stir for 7-10 minutes.
2. Add chicken and stir. When the meat has lost its pink tone, add in the peas and keep stirring until the chicken has cooked fully.
3. Add the lemon salt and dried oregano whilst stirring (optional).
4. Add flour and stir for 30 seconds, covering all ingredients.
5. Pour in the broth and lower the heat. Stir for at least 10 minutes, until the mixture has a juicy and thick consistency.
6. In a separate pot, bring water to a boil and cook the potatoes. Drain, place back in the pot -now off the heat- and add in the milk, salt, scallions, black pepper and a bit of butter and mash. Set aside.
7. Pour the meat-veggie mixture in a baking dish and cover with the mashed potatoes (I like to use a spatula to even out).
8. Sprinkle with paprika and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.