Hearty Chicken Stew… With a Winter Mash Top

Hearty Chicken Stew… With a Winter Mash Top
  • Ingredients
      • 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
      • 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 

  1. In a large pan of boiling salted water, cook your vegetables for about 20 minutes until tender.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Put to one side.

Prepare the topping 

  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion for 5-6 minutes, until gorgeously golden.
  2. Mix in the breadcrumbs and stir until brown and a little crisp.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and add the thyme, then take the pan off the heat.

Making the chicken stew 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the veggies to the pan along with the thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  5. Halve and stir in the mushrooms, along with the leftover chicken and plain flour.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Spoon or sprinkle the topping mixture casually over the top of the mash. Scatter with parmesan.
  9. Bake in the oven at 180° C for 30 minutes, or until golden and crisp on top.

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