Ideas for chicken shepherd's pie
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?
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.
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.
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.
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...)
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!
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!