Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Green Chicken Pie

This year I've planted my first veggie patch and much to my surprise, I've had a bumper crop of silverbeet so I've had to become inventive and figure out a few recipes to use it up before the caterpillars ate it all!

So let me introduce you to my Green Chicken Pie. I took some inspiration from the traditional English shephard's pie which has a meaty-veggie base topped with mashed potato and then baked.

I know, I know - you're all remembering the boiled and grey silverbeet you were probably served up as a child, but trust me - after you've eaten my green chicken pie, you'll fall in love with this versatile and under-rated veggie.

Green Chicken Pie
(Serves 4)

3 tbsp olive oil
1 large brown onion, diced
6 large silverbeet leaves, stems finely diced and leaves shredded
4-5 large chicken thighs (skinless, boneless), cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tspn fennel seeds, ground
2 tbsp plain flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
5-6 royal blue potatoes, peeled and diced
100g butter

Preheat the oven to 220C. Grease a 2-3 litre casserole dish then place this on a baking pan or another type of "catcher" in case of over-spill!

Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep saucepan and gently saute the onion and silverbeet stems until the onion is translucent. Add the diced chicken and cook until the chicken is almost cooked through.

Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook for another minute. Stir in the white wine and bring the mixture to the boil then add the chicken stock. Turn the heat back down to medium, stir in plenty of freshly cracked black pepper and a bit of salt then let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Thrown in the silverbeet leaves and parsley and mix in.

Meanwhile, boil the diced potatoes until tender. Drain then mash with the butter, plenty of salt and a pinch of pepper.

Spoon the chicken and silverbeet mixture into the casserole dish then top with the mashed potatoes. Pop this into the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the potato on top begins to brown a little.

Serve this with a side of blanched veggies or just as it is.