So what’s next after that Split Roast Chicken we made on Sunday? This Leftover Chicken Shepherds Pie is the perfect encore and a great way to use up leftover chicken and mashed potatoes. I call it “Leftover Chicken Shepherds Pie” because I usually make it after we’ve had a roast chicken but honestly, this is so good it would be work roasting a couple of chicken breasts or — dare I say it — picking up a rotisserie chicken at the supermarket. So easy, so delicious. So damned comforting.
I wasn’t quite sure how the kids would respond to this one — Jon has made traditional shepherds pie before with ground beef and they’ve liked that. But chicken pot pie has been a tough sell. As something of a hybrid of the two, I wasn’t sure what they’d think. Lilly looked at it a bit dubiously but ultimately the siren call of mashed potatoes won her over and they both gobbled it up. If you’re working with a picky eater, I suggest relying heavily on the mashed potatoes in your sales pitch.
And really, its all about the potatoes. While they stay fluffy, almost downright creamy, in the center, the top part takes on a golden, crispy edge that makes this dish memorable. Of course, the filling is pretty awesome too considering how easy it is to make. Sautee some onions and carrots and celery (if you have it), add some flour and broth to thicken and fold in your leftover chicken and some peas (or corn! or both!). Slather with potatoes and bake.
Poor Jon has been too tied up with work to join us for dinner this week so this is about the only real meal I’m planning on making. Lucky for him, I suspect this dinner will be one of our regulars in the next few months — especially once the snow starts falling. This is perfect fuel for snow shoveling!
Leftover Chicken Shepherds Pie
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup carrots, diced
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup leftover cooked chicken, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas (and/or corn), thawed
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes, reheated slightly in the microwave
Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat oil in a large heavy or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrots and saute over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add butter and allow to melt. Sprinkle flour evenly over vegetables and stir to until the mixture becomes paste-like. Cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually begin adding broth, stirring constantly until incorporated. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until it has a thick, saucy texture.
- Remove pan from heat. Fold in chicken and peas and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread filling evenly across the bottom of the pan and top with mashed potatoes. Gently spread potatoes over the filling to create an even layer.
- Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the filling is bubbly. Switch oven to broiler and broil for 5 minutes or until mashed potatoes are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for five minutes before serving.