Saturday, May 3, 2014

Chicken Chili Pie

A fork in dish of just baked chicken chili pie, a spin on the traditional sheperd's pie
I might just eat it all by myself. This Chicken Chili was so comforting for the incessant rain in Boston.

Hello Lovely People! So I should have posted up more recipes this past week. Especially since I spent last weekend doing a massive batch of cooking. But life got in the way. I had the most sporadic week I have had in a long time. My work schedule was a mix of early and late shifts. Then I also had to study for my driver's license exam. So with grand flourish, now that all this is done, let's get back to the business of food. This recipe is what I call a leftover pie or a broke day pie.

There are very specific food memories for me. Shepherd's pie is one of those. I remember my cousin's friend dropping a Shepherd's Pie off when I was growing up in Lagos. It just seemed so posh with the layers of potatoes and ground meat. I am pretty sure the meat that was used in this version was beef. A traditional shepherd pie uses mutton. Mutton is a meat that has deep flavors and can handle long intense cooking. However, the concept of the Shepherd's Pie is one that can easily be played around with. I used to make a smoked mackerel mixed with poached cod version when I lived in Manchester.

This version came about because I had spent a lot of money restocking the basics in my pantry. (Yes, I have a pantry or I should say a shelf in my room that has dried and canned goods.) Anyway, so I had all this food and I was like I am not spending anymore money to buy food this week. So I started looking in the fridge for food that I could cook for the week. I had quite a few options. I had about half of a rotisserie chicken, frozen cooked beans from when I made the beans salad and some frozen andouille chicken sausage meat deep in the freezer. In my spice cabinet, I found a packet of Chili seasoning I bought in December last year. I knew then I was going to be making something along the line of chili. I bought a few veggie to support the meal and made a big pot of tomato sauce.

You are not always going to have the same leftover as me. I am only putting this up as an inspiration. Feel free to use left over beef, chicken, lamb, whatever you have that can be quickly warmed up in tomato sauce and baked as a casserole with mashed potatoes.

A stack of corn, half-used celery and leftover whole rotisserie chicken
Corn, Celery and Chicken

Chicken Chili Pie

Left-Over Rotisserie Chicken or 2 cups of shredded chicken meat
1/4 Lbs of Chicken Sausage meat (optional)
3 Corn Cobs
4 Sticks of Celery
1 Bulb of Garlic
4 Big Potatoes
1/2 Stick of Butter
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 Tbsp of Chili Seasoning
11/2 Cups of Tomato sauce
11/2 Cups of Cooked Beans

A bulb of garlic with the top cut drizzled with olive oil sitting on foil.
Drizzle olive oil on the cut garlic

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Slice off the top of the bulb of garlic carefully to expose garlic stick in skin. Place the garlic in a big square of foil. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, fold up foil into a pouch around garlic. Roast garlic in oven for 35 minutes. Allow to cool. When you take garlic out, leave oven on.

2. Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes. In a pot, add in the potatoes with enough water to cover the cubes. Add in a dash of salt and cook until potatoes are mash easily when pressed against the side of the pot with a fork.

3. Drain water from potatoes. While it potatoes are still hot, mash until just smooth. Squeeze in the roasted garlic and drop in the butter. Keep mashing until potatoes are smooth.

4. Pull the chicken off the bone. When I pulled my chicken off the bone, I had about 2 cups of shredded white and dark meat.

Corn kernel cut off the cob with a sharp knife
Canned corn has got nothing on the corn you cut off the cob yourself.

5. Slice the corn kernels of the corn cob carefully and also chop the celery stick finely.

Sautéed Corn Kernels and Celery in a pot
Sautéed Corn and Celery
6. In a big pot, heat up the remaining olive oil, sauté the corn and the celery until corn gains a bright color. Break the chicken sausage into little balls into the oil. Brown the sausage just light.

shredded chicken, beans, corn, celery, tomato sauce coming together for a chicken chili
Chili Mix Coming Together

7. Add in the beans, shredded chicken and the tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer. Add in the chili seasoning. Simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. Pour the chicken mix into an oven safe dish that can take at least double of it volume. I used a 11 cup rectangular pyrex dish.

9. Layer the mashed potatoes on the chicken corn mix gently. Smoothen top with the back of a smooth spoon. Place dish in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until chicken sauce is bubbling below and potato has crust on the corners. Note that I did not let my potato get too brown. You can leave it longer to get browner if you prefer it that way.

Chicken Chili freshly baked with a topping of garlic mashed potatoes
Freshly Baked Chicken Chili Pie

10. Let it cool a bit and then it is ready to serve up.

No comments:

Post a Comment