Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Chicken Cottage Pie

Chicken Cottage Pie

One of the best things about a Sunday roast is trying to figure out what to do with the leftovers on Monday. Leftover beef is usually added to sandwiches with lots of horseradish. There is never usually any leftover pork. Leftover chicken is where I try to be creative. In the summer it is wonderful served cold or shredded into salads, and the winter offers a wide selection of rib-sticking, warming dishes, such as my version of King Ranch Casserole.

Another Monday-night favourite is this version of cottage pie made with chicken instead of beef. Not only is it gorgeously comforting, but it is the perfect way of using up leftovers as anything can be thrown in (except probably dessert). Not only is there leftover chicken, but also leftover veg and gravy too. It's a very flexible dish; throw in whatever you have to hand. In this version I had half a swede, which I decided to mash into the potatoes. It would have been just as good cubed into the chicken stew. I normally add leeks, either as part of the sauce, or stirred into the mashed potato topping. You can also incorporate cabbage or sprouts into the potato, going for a bubble and squeak vibe. The options are endless.

Chicken Cottage Pie

Serves 2

1tbsp oil
1 Onion, roughly chopped
Any vegetables you fancy - carrots, leeks, swede, celery, peas etc
160g leftover roast chicken
200ml leftover gravy
100ml milk
1tbsp cornflour mixed with a a little water
1 heaped tsp English Mustard
1 tsp fresh or dried sage, rosemary or thyme
salt and pepper, to taste
Mashed potato

1.  Preheat the over to 180C.

2. Heat the oil in a pan and add the onion, allowing it to soften for a few minutes. Add any raw vegetables and cook for another couple of minutes, unless you are using tender vegetables like peas, asparagus etc. Add these later.

3. Add the herbs, gravy, mustard, milk and a good grinding of black pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.

4. Add the chicken and any raw tender vegetables or leftover cooked vegetables that you might be using. Bring back to a boil and thicken with the cornflour. Taste and adjust the seasoning as required.

5. Pour the the stew to an ovenproof dish and spread the mashed potato over the top. Transfer to the oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the potato is golden brown.