Friday, March 19, 2010

Shepherd’s Pie with Ground Chicken and Clouds of Sweet Potatoes

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy this untraditional traditional dish. Using ground white and dark meat from the chicken, a bit of cumin and sweet potatoes gives this meal three thumbs up – yours, Papa’s and your grandchild.

Serves: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 30 minutes for the ingredients
Cook Time: 20 minutes for the dish

4 medium sweet potatoes
¼ cup half and half
2 tablespoons butter
Coarse salt and ground black pepper
1 large egg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, peeled and diced, about 1 ½ cups
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and diced, about 1 cup
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 1 teaspoon
1 ½ pounds ground chicken (white and dark parts)
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups home made chicken broth, or prepared low sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 (9-ounce) package frozen peas and pearl onions, thawed

Preheat the oven to 350°. Scrub the sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork. Roast until the potatoes are cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cut in half and scrape the inside of the potatoes into the bowl of an electric mixer. Stir in the half and half and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Add the egg and mix until fluffy. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook until brown, about 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour over the chicken. Stir in tomato paste. Pour in chicken broth. Season with Worcestershire sauce, cumin thyme and rosemary. Add the peas and onions. Cook until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Heat the oven on the broil setting. Pour the filling into a baking dish. Spoon the sweet potatoes over the top. Place the casserole under the broiler and heat until the potatoes just begin to turn brown on the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes.

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