Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Chicken and Porcini Mushroom Shepherd's Pie with Fontina-Sage Potatoes

Wow, this blog really is dusty!  Sorry I've been away for so long.  I'm happy to report that I have still been cooking and eating and even taking pictures but after a long day of working (some days 2 jobs) I just can't get myself to write up a post.  I'm going to try to be diligent about posting at least twice a week.  Let's see how that works.  Sound good?

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed all those other holidays I've missed!  Mine was great! Aside from having a bad cold I really enjoyed Christmas, all the yummy food and the extra days off.  Speaking of Christmas....I am so excited to share that Steve bought me the new Color Nook!  I do love to read (although even that hasn't made it onto my to do list lately) but the main reason I wanted the Color nook is for my cookbooks.  I have so many cookbooks and they take up so much space.  I thought it would be a great way to store and keep track of the new cookbooks I buy.  The first book I downloaded was Rachael Ray's Look and Cook.  There are a lot of great recipes in this book.  I think I bookmarked about 15 of them so far which is a good sign.

I chose to make this recipe out of all of those because I had basically all of the ingredients thanks to leftover ingredients from my Christmas recipes.  Besides, it does seem like an Italian version of Shepherd's Pie, doesn't it? I made a couple of substitutions which worked out just fine.  I used chicken breasts in place of the tenders or thighs, dried wild mushrooms instead of porcini, 1 small onion instead of the shallots and I added 2 cloves of minced garlic.  In addition to the changes to the recipe I decided to cook the onions and carrots before I added the chicken.  I find that the veggies need a little longer to cook than her recipe states and I didn't want the chicken to dry out.  I will give you the recipe as it was printed and you can decide if you want to follow the recipe exactly or if you'd like to incorporate my changes (or your own).

Chicken Porcini Shepherd's Pie with Fontina-Sage Potatoes

Look and Cook
by Rachael Ray

Serves 4


2 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup whole milk or cream
4 stems of fresh sage, leaves removed and thinly sliced
Black Pepper
1 cup shredded Italian Fontina cheese
Freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp EVOO
1/4 pound of 1/4 inch thick pancetta or prosciutto, diced
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenders, diced
3 shallots, chopped
2 medium carrots, pelled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine


Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil.  Salt the water and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, 12 to 15 minutes.  When tender, drain the potatoes and return to the hot pot.  Mash the potatoes with the milk or cream, sage, salt and pepper, and the cheese.  Add nutmeg to taste and stir in the egg.

While the potatoes come to a boil, place the porcinis in a small pot and cover with the stock.  Place over medium heat, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer to reconstitute the mushrooms.

While the mushrooms are softening, heat the EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat, place an oven rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the broiler.  Add the pancetta to the hot oil and crisp for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the chicken and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.  Add the shallots and carrot and cook for 5 minutes more.  Make a well in the center of the pan and melt the butter.  Whisk the flour into the butter and cook for 1 minute, then add the wine.  Remove the porcinis from the stock and stir the stock into the chicken mixture.  Chop the porcinis and stir into the mixture.  Thicken the sauce for 2 minutes and scoop the chicken into a 9x13 inch casserole or individual casseroles.  Top with the potatoes, brown under the broiler for a couples of minutes and serve. 

Click here for a printable version of this recipe. 


Arlene Delloro said...

This does look delicious. I don't usually like RR's recipes, but will have to give her another go.

Claudia said...

Porcini mushrooms? Fontina-sage potatoes? I am so happily there and tasting it. Welcome back.

Patti T. said...

Glad to see you posting again Michele, and even more glad that you had a nice Christmas. My family loves Shepherds pie, I really need to make some soon. Your recipe looks fantastic.