Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Parsnip and Sweet Potato Sheperd's Pie

What to do with some extra poached chicken? How about using it in a riff on sheperd's pie? This was great for the whole family: big, hungry dad, ravenous mom, and hungry little baby alike. Need I mention it was terribly easy? There are a few things that take up time, but there's not too much work involved.

For example, roast a sweet potato at 375 for an hour so it's all nice and oozing with its own caramelized sugar. While you are at it, roast off a sugar pumpkin for tomorrow's dessert, and a finger of ginger. It makes the whole house smell great when you walk in from the brisk and frost bitten outdoors. In a pot on the stovetop, you can simmer steam a nice big parsnip that you peeled and sliced. You can puree both of these together (peel the hot skin off the potato first!) with a little butter and milk, salt an pepper and the peeled roasted ginger.

While that sits and waits for you, get a peeled carrot, rib of celery, some parsley and scallions and whiz them up in the processor. Sautee them in olive oil and a leetle bit of butter for a few. Then take that diced poached chicken breast (one whole, or if you like, two sides) and let that cook a bit--five minutes? Sprinkle in a tablespoon of flour and toss to coat. Add 3/4 cup of chicken broth, some rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper. Let it all simmer until thickened. Pour this into a greased baking dish (glass 13x9 sounds right) and top with the puree, smoothing it out all nice. You might, if you are so inclined, dot the top with butter, but I left it naked. Bake for about a half hour at 400 degrees.

I love the mix of sweet potato and parsnip. The celery/parsley flavor that the parsnip has cut the sweetness of the roasted sweet potato. The color was lovely, and who doesn't love chicken in gravy? And, all told it was quite a light meal. Not too heavy but satisfying. I made sure to leave a small bit for lunch today. But I tell you, I had to hide it in the fridge.


  1. Love the parsnip and sweet potatoes topping. It's a nice change from the usual mash potatoes. Love it. It must taste really good.

  2. Thanks, Ellie! Parsnips are so underrated.