Lean Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie came about in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Ireland. It was created in households as a simple yet nutritious meal that was meant to incorporate the leftovers in the house. It has since then been cooked using different kinds of mince meat and leftover vegetables in the fridge. This combination of meat and vegetables is sealed with mashed potato on top. Once in the oven a golden crispy potato covering forms and it blends in beautifully with the meat and veggies inside. I make different combinations but the two I like the most are, chicken mince with spinach and the lamb mince with carrots and celery.

You begin by cooking the meat, which is cooked on low fire in a rich bed of sliced onions, garlic, ginger and herbs. It’s cooked in olive oil which is high in omega 3 fatty acids and is therefore a heart healthy oil to cook in. The vegetables are sautéed separately and then added to the minced meat. The mashed potato contains extra virgin olive oil instead of butter! It is spooned on top of the cooked meat and vegetables which have been infused with herbs and spices and then placed in the oven. The result is a truly comforting and delicious meal. The crispy yet soft texture of the potato with the succulent minced meat and vegetables makes this dish most satisfying! In this recipe I have used free range chicken mince, frozen organic spinach leaves and sautéed Shiitake mushrooms, just because I had some in the fridge.

Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients:

  1. Chicken – 900 gm
  2. Potatoes – 5 large
  3. Frozen Spinach – 450 gm
  4. Onion – 1 large chopped
  5. Garlic – 6 pods
  6. Ginger – 2 tbsp
  7. Mushrooms – 3/4 cup
  8. Rosemary – 1 tsp
  9. Coarse Black Pepper – 2 tsp
  10. Himalayan Salt – 2 tsp
  11. Fresh red chilli – 1 chopped
  12. Dried red chilli flakes – 1 tsp
  13. Cayenne pepper – 1 tsp
  14. Olive oil – 3 tbsp
  15. Virgin olive oil – 1 tbsp
  16. Free range chicken stock – 1 cup
  17. Worcester sauce – 4 tsp
  18. Rice flour – 1 tsp
  19. Pre-heat oven to 180 C with the grill on
Ingredients: Onion, garlic, ginger, himalayan salt, black pepper, dried rosemary, red chilli

Method:

Mash the potato :

  • Boil the potatoes
  • Mash with a stainless steel masher
  • Add 1 tsp himalayan salt
  • Add 1 tsp black pepper
  • Add 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Mix it all thoroughly into the mashed potato

Cook chicken and spinach :

  • Put 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the onion, 4 garlic pods, ginger
Onion, garlic, ginger, red chilli pepper, rosemary, salt and pepper cooked in olive oil
  • Cook on low fire until soft
  • Add rosemary, salt, black pepper, fresh red chilli and cook for 1 minute
  • Add the chicken mince
  • Add the stock with the rice flour dissolved in it
  • Sauté the spinach separately in another pan with 1 garlic pod, 1 tbsp of chopped onion and 1 tbsp olive oil
Sautéed Spinach
  • Add the cooked spinach to the chicken mince and cook on low fire for 10 mins
Chicken mince and spinach cooked
  • Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil separately
  • Add them to the chicken and spinach

Layer the Shepherd’s pie

  • Then spoon the mixture into a pyrex or any baking dish and cover with the mashed potato
  • Smooth and flatten the mashed potato and then with a fork make grooves
  • Place the dish in the oven under the grill
  • As the potato turns golden in colour you can take it out
  • Let it stand for 2 minutes and then serve!
Shepherd’s pie with a golden crispy layer of potato on top

Author: Healthybalance

I am a certified integrative nutrition health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I run workshops on wellness and work with clients individually. My coaching involves enabling clients to address the root cause of any imbalances in their lives and to empower them to become advocates for themselves so that they can make long-term changes that lead to their optimum health and wellness. The work of an integrative nutrition health coach is to help clients understand the synergy that exists between the primary areas in ones life like sleep, exercise, satisfaction in our relationships, career and other such domains and the food we eat. I work with young adults ages 12 and above and women, mostly pertaining to weight loss, gut issues, and hormonal imbalances.

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