Poulterer’s pie

I think this is kind of the chicken equivalent to shepherd’s pie, hence the name (a poulterer being someone who keeps poultry). Although this meal is a bit of effort, it will easily serve two for two nights. It did seem like a bit of a random combination of vegetables, but infact, it all came together very nicely. You could just as easily cover it with mashed sweet potato instead of slices as I did and even create a vegetarian equivalent by substituting the chicken for savoy cabbage and/or cannellini beans or even lentils.

Annoyingly, I think you might need to log in to view the recipe but here’s the link of the original recipe if you wanted it.

Ingredients I used to comfortably serve 2, twice:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (coconut, olive, whatever your preference
  • 1 onion
  • 400g mushrooms
  • 1 pepper
  • 175g leeks
  • 240g skinless chicken
  • 1 tbsp plain flour (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley or coriander
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 3 – 4 sweet potatoes

A quick note on the chicken: I used a mixture of thighs, drumsticks and chicken breast, mainly due to budget constraints, however just getting all boneless meat and chopping it up would may work better.

What to do:

  1. Preheat the over to Gas Mark 6 (200C)
  2. Prepare the vegetables: roughly chop the onion, peel and chop the mushrooms (I used button mushrooms and kept some whole for texture), and slice the pepper and leeks
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan and fry the vegetables you’ve just prepared until softened and slightly golden. While these are cooking prepare your chicken (chop it up as much as you’re going to) and stock.
  4. Stir in the chicken and cook for a further 5 minutes, then stir in the plain flour along with the dried herbs and most of the fresh herbs (you just need some left for garnish) and cook for about a minute before adding in the chopped tomatoes and chicken stock.
  5. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes and it should start to thicken. Season with salt and pepper, taste, and tweak as needed.
  6. While that’s cooking, you also need to prepare your sweet potatoes, which you can do a couple of ways:
    • a la Jamie Oliver but peeling and chopping it into largish pieces in a microwaveable bowl, double covering it with cling film and microwaving for 9 – 12 minutes, or:
    • peeling then boiling them for about the same amount of time. If you want to have a sliced topping cooking them for less time that if you want a mashed topping.
  7. When the potatoes are nearly done, transfer the chicken to an overproof dish if they’re not already in one. Prepare the potato topping (slice or mash it) and cover the chicken mixture.
  8. Brush the potato topping with oil and cook in the over for about 30 minutes. Check you’re happy the chicken is cooking before serving, and once on the plate, sprinkle with the remaining fresh herbs.

As you’ll see from the photo this isn’t the most picturesque meal, but what it doesn’t have in presentation, it makes up for in taste!

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