Friday, July 8, 2011

Homemade Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

First, let me start with a history on how the Shepherd’s pie came to be the masterpiece we’ve created at our home.  When my husband was deployed to Afghanistan, there were times when his platoon was in an area where the good old “mess hall” wasn’t really an option.  Putting together what they had, my husband made his men a version of Shepherd’s pie that they still talk about 5 years later.  The meat they got was hamburger cooked over an open fire, salt from a local vendor, instant potatoes, and whatever vegetables they could get ahold of.  Since coming home, we have made it many times (with a greater selection of ingredients!) and we’ve come up with this recipe, which we love to serve when we have guests.

Ingredients:

4 cups of seasonal vegetables, diced (we used onions, carrots, green beans and corn)
1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves aged garlic (ours were unintentionally aged!)
3 strips of thick cut bacon (we prefer to trim the fat off)
1 1/2 cup chopped chicken (leftovers are perfect for this!)
3 cups mashed potatoes (instant or real, prepared with Knorr Concentrated Homestyle Chicken Stock)
2/3 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups white wine
2 packets Knorr Concentrated Homestyle Chicken Stock
1 tsp smoked (or regular) paprika
1/2 tsp white ground pepper
1 TBS flour
1 egg
One small jar pimentos
Extra virgin olive oil

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes (and SO worth it!)

Shepherd’s Pie Filling

Dice the vegetables, slice the bacon, and crumble the chicken into separate bowls.

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In a skillet, heat 2 TBS olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves and sauté bacon until crispy.  Next add ‘hard’ vegetables (carrots in this recipe, however, turnips, parsnips, broccoli, celery if those are the seasonal vegetables you prefer), and continue sautéing until the carrots are heated through, but still have most their raw crispness (three to five minutes).  Next add to the mixture the ‘soft’ vegetables (in this recipe, we used green beans, corn, and onion).  Heat through and remove from heat.  Place into a mixing bowl, drain and add the jar of pimentos, and set aside.

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Shepherd’s Pie Sauce

Deglaze the frying pan with 1 1/2 cups of white wine (add it to the pan while the pan is still hot).  Bring wine to a simmer.  White cooking sherry will do nicely as a nonalcoholic substitute, if you prefer.  Add one 4.66 oz. Knorr Concentrated Homestyle Chicken Stock.  Whisk until evenly distributed.  Next, whisk 3/4 cup sour cream until evenly mixed.  Reduce heat and simmer.  Add 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp ground white pepper, and 1 TBS flour.  Mix well, and allow to reduce the sauce until thickened.  Pour over the Shepherd’s Pie Filling and fold both together.

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Mashed Potatoes

If you are making instant potatoes, use Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock instead of plain water.  If you are making traditional mashed potatoes, boil them in Knorr Homestyle Chicken Stock.’

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Thoroughly beat one egg.  To temper the egg mixture (raise the temperature of the eggs without scrambling them), take about 1 tsp of still-hot mashed potatoes and whisk into the beaten egg.  When mixed, add 2 tsp more of still-hot mashed potatoes, and mix until the beaten egg becomes thicker and more velvety.  Pour the tempered egg over the rest of the mashed potatoes and fold them together.  Having the tempered egg in the potatoes, or even brushed over the mashed potatoes will allow them to crisp to a golden brown.

The Big Finish

Place the filling in your cooking vessel (ours was about 8’ x 10’ x 4’).  Spread the filling to an even depth and cover with the mashed potato mixture.  Smooth the potatoes and score with a fork. 

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Bake at 350 degrees for thirty to forty five minutes (until the potatoes turn golden brown).  Let cool before serving, serves 4-6

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1 comment:

Kristina P. said...

I love Shepherd's Pie! And this definitely looks better than what my mom used to make.