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Ideas for chicken shepherd's pie

ChristinaMason Mar 2, 2010 11:19 PM

Hi there,

A broken bone in the family means I'm trying to cook more nutrient-rich foods that are packed with calcium and other minerals and vitamins. Tonight, I want to make a chicken shepherd's pie using boneless chicken breast but don't have a good recipe.

I'd like the topping to incorporate sweet potatoes, although some white potatoes are OK. I was thinking maybe a creamy, herb-flavored, stew base with white wine. What do people think of adding fresh spinach to something like that?

Thanks!

  1. Rojellio Mar 4, 2010 08:49 AM

    Just my humble opinion.... But I think its not Shepherd's Pie anymore once Chicken is the meat. Its more of a Chicken ala King casserole with a mashed potato layer. Chicken ala Sheperd??

    6 Replies
    1. re: Rojellio
      ChristinaMason Mar 4, 2010 09:15 AM

      Eh, semantics. From what I read (granted, on wikipedia), "There is now a popular tendency for 'shepherd's pie' to be used when the meat is mutton or lamb, with the suggested origin being that shepherds are concerned with sheep and not cattle, however this may be an example of folk etymology."

      1. re: ChristinaMason
        k
        Kater Mar 4, 2010 10:02 AM

        I think you should get yourself a big bunch of leeks and make the patient Shepherd's Cock a Leekie! If his funny bone is broken, that might help mend it.

        And really a nice fricasse with tons of leeks along with carrot, parsnip and herbs with mashed potato on top would be really delicious!

        1. re: Kater
          ChristinaMason Mar 4, 2010 12:01 PM

          Kater, really funny...as I was looking back over the photos, I was thinking, "Damn, this would have been good with some leeks." Next time!

        2. re: ChristinaMason
          Cherylptw Mar 4, 2010 10:24 AM

          So you're saying that the shephard's pie I'd grown up with containing ground beef was not the authentic? Well, it was still good and I'm making your "shephard's pie for Sunday dinner; can't wait!

          1. re: Cherylptw
            epabella Jul 20, 2010 06:03 PM

            hello all, stumbled into this thread and i made something similar recently. ChristinaMason is correct in pointing out shepherds pie is made of lamb or mutton, anything else and it'd be called a cottage pie.

            1. re: epabella
              f
              foodie_guru Jul 21, 2010 06:34 AM

              I use a recipe I found on the Fosters Market website. I have made it a few times and it is delicious. Here's the link

              http://www.fostersmarket.com/southwes...

      2. ChristinaMason Mar 4, 2010 08:09 AM

        I wrote up the full recipe here (it's lengthy, so I'm not going to post it in this thread): http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...

        Thank you all for your tips and advice. I had no idea the ingredient list was going to be so long...but it was fun to make. And yummy!

        1. c
          cookie44 Mar 3, 2010 07:01 AM

          Sounds good to me with sweets and spinach. I would consider rather than going the route of an herby creamy sauce you could also try a creamy sauce with a little nutmeg. Works with creamed spinach and should be nice with sweet potatoes so that might might work nicely.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cookie44
            ChristinaMason Mar 3, 2010 01:19 PM

            I added some nutmeg to the herby sauce. Best of both worlds :)

          2. viperlush Mar 3, 2010 06:07 AM

            This is the recipe that I use when I want to use up a roast chicken. Except I don't add the herb cheese and use what ever veggies i have laying around. But it does have a nice herb mustard wine gravy.

            http://feedmyworld-sri.blogspot.com/2...

            1. Cherylptw Mar 3, 2010 05:13 AM

              I like the idea of chicken shephard's pie with sweet potato mash (sounds like something I'd make). I don't have a recipe for it but I'm thinking that you could cube up the chicken and lightly sear with non stick cooking spray or a bit of oil. Make the roux (is soy flour GF?), cooking over low for about 20 minutes to develop the flavor (you could just use a bottled gravy but why?)

              Stir in your aromatics for about five minutes or until desired tenderness then whisk in your stock, wine and cream; simmer until thickened. Mix all of your seasonings, veggies and chicken in with the "gravy" and spoon into a baking dish. Whisk up some cooked sweet potatoes with whatever you'd like to put in them until smooth and cover your chicken mixture. Bake until hot & bubbly. Spinach & chicken is a classic, so go ahead and add it.

              Do post & let us know how it all came out! (so I can make it...)

              4 Replies
              1. re: Cherylptw
                ChristinaMason Mar 3, 2010 05:28 AM

                Thanks, Cheryl. So should I cook the roux itself for 20 minutes, or the "bechamel" or whatever it will be for that amount of time? Seems like the flour will get quite brown if it goes that long...

                Also, what do you think about how to include the fresh spinach? Do I need to wilt it separately first, or can I cook it right in the sauce before filling and baking?

                edit: re-reading your instructions, I see you do mean the roux, not the sauce itself. I'll give it a try with my rice flour!

                1. re: ChristinaMason
                  Cherylptw Mar 3, 2010 05:37 AM

                  When I was typing I was thinking regular flour and now I realize that non gluten flour probably don't need to cook as long so I'll say cook it until it's the color you want, but low is best because it will bring out more flavor. I'd put the spinach in with the sauce, it'll wilt and because I'm lazy (lol) I see no need for an extra step if the outcome is the same. Can't wait to hear how it turns out!

                  1. re: Cherylptw
                    ChristinaMason Mar 3, 2010 01:19 PM

                    Your instructions were spot on. Not to brag, but this was really yummy! I'll post a full recipe soon, but encourage you to make your own if you're in the mood. The flavors totally work. Yay. Thanks!

                    1. re: ChristinaMason
                      Cherylptw Mar 3, 2010 02:37 PM

                      I knew it! Glad it turned out well and I'm going to give it a try over the weekend (I have to rotate other stuff first)...

              2. todao Mar 3, 2010 03:44 AM

                If you want to load it up with calcium, try a medley of veggies (broccoli, spinach, Chinese cabbage, turnip greens - the Chinese cabbage has half the calcium per ounce as a glass of milk of equal weight) in your shepherd's pie, and be sure to use milk as a portion of the liquid in the dish.

                1 Reply
                1. re: todao
                  ChristinaMason Mar 3, 2010 03:57 AM

                  Those are good ideas. Right now, I'm thinking about loading it up with peas and spinach, since DH is supposed to get a lot of those. Will round it out with carrots, onions, shallots, some rosemary, thyme, chicken broth, a little white wine, and cream. Sweet-white mash (with a little sour cream stirred in?) on top. I think.

                  But more ideas welcome.

                2. coll Mar 2, 2010 11:41 PM

                  Not exactly what you had in mind, but I made this after Thanksgiving this year to use up the leftover turkey and sweet potatoes, and it was a nice change. I'll probably tweak it as time goes on, I used frozen mixed vegetables as I always do in regular Shepherds Pie, so spinach would be even less noticable.

                  MEXICAN SHEPHERDS PIE

                  2 cups chicken or turkey, cut in chunks
                  can of Rotel or salsa
                  dash of worcestshire and some thyme
                  Tbsp peanut butter and Tbsp of Nutella or cocoa (going for a mole kind of thing)
                  1 cup frozen veg

                  Heat all above in skillet and thicken with 1/4 cup wine/beer/stock mixed with some cornstarch. Put in pie tin or casserole.
                  Top with mashed sweet potatoes, flavored with chipotle, maple syrup, butter (that's how I make them initally, I'm just using the leftovers) after mashing with some heavy cream and shredded cheese like cheddar or maybe cream cheese. Then top everything with some parmesan and smoked paprika.
                  Bake at 350 for 1/2 hour.

                  Still a work in progress so let me know any improvement or ideas you come up with.

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