Hearty Chicken Stew… With a Winter Mash Top
- For the stew:
- 4 rashers of bacon
- olive oil
- 2 onions
- 3 large carrots
- 2 potatoes
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 200g button mushrooms
- 1 heaped tablespoon of plain flour
- 1 leftover chicken carcass, plus up to 300g leftover cooked chicken
- For the mash
- 2-3 parsnips, cut into even chunks
- 1 swede, cut into same size chunks as the parsnips (you can add/substitute with kumara too)
- 125g tub sour cream
- ½ - 1 tbsp horseradish (depending on your flavour preference)
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- Butter topping
- 50g butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 50g breadcrumbs
- a small handful thyme leaves
- 25g parmesan, coarsely grated
Introducing the ultimate winter comfort food dish: a hearty chicken stew, using leftovers from a whole cooked chicken, topped with a rich creamy winter mash and buttery, crispy topping. Making the stock from scratch and using fresh herbs makes this recipe delicious with only a little extra preparation.
Prepare the winter mash
- In a large pan of boiling salted water, cook your vegetables for about 20 minutes until tender.
- Drain well, then mash together with a few knobs of butter, using a masher or food processor until reasonably smooth but still with a bit of texture.
- Stir in the sour cream, horseradish and thyme and season with salt and pepper. At this stage, you can add milk or cream to get it to your preferred consistency.
- Put to one side.
Prepare the topping
- Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion for 5-6 minutes, until gorgeously golden.
- Mix in the breadcrumbs and stir until brown and a little crisp.
- Season with salt and pepper and add the thyme, then take the pan off the heat.
Making the chicken stew
- You will need one leftover chicken carcass, plus up to 300g leftover cooked chicken. Strip all the meat you can find off the chicken carcass and put aside.
- Make some stock. Place the carcass and any bones in a large pan. Cover with 1 litre of water, bring to the boil, then simmer for at least 30 minutes, skimming away anything on the surface.
- Meanwhile, finely slice the bacon (and any leftover chicken skin) and place in a large pan on a medium heat with oil, while you peel and chop the onions, carrots, and potatoes into 2cm pieces.
- Add the veggies to the pan along with the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Halve and stir in the mushrooms, along with the leftover chicken and plain flour.
- Pour the stock through a sieve straight into the pan – you want the stock sitting level with the top of the stew, so top up with a little water, if needed. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, or until thick and delicious.
- When the time’s up, loosen the stew with a good splash of water if needed, season to perfection, then transfer it to an ovenproof pan and top with your winter mash.
- Spoon or sprinkle the topping mixture casually over the top of the mash. Scatter with parmesan.
- Bake in the oven at 180° C for 30 minutes, or until golden and crisp on top.