It wasn’t until I had published my previous post that I realized it was already ten minutes past midnight and it was no longer February and it was no longer leap day. Of course no harm was done except that I felt quite lame joking about jumping for leap day on March 1st!! Maybe I’ll start my own tradition! At least I can do it every year .
For today’s recipe I got the inspiration from several Food Network recipes including those by Ellie Krieger and Rachael Ray and came up with a combination that I like and is good for me.
Ingredients (6 servings – 4 with second helpings)
- 600 grams skinless, boneless chicken breasts ( around 3 medium breasts)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 medium zucchini, , cut in half lengthwise then cut in half-moons
- 2 carrots, cut in half lengthwise then cut in half-moons
- 3/4 cup frozen green peas
- 3/4 cup frozen green beans
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- a few splashes white wine (optional)
- 1 1/4 cups low-fat or skimmed milk
- 1 3/4 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
- 1 heaped tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- salt and black pepper to taste
For the topping
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 3 or 4 medium potatoes
- Nutmeg, salt and pepper ( black or white)
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
Cut the chicken breasts into cubes, then season with salt and pepper. In a preheated non-stick skillet, add the chicken and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Put 1 tablespoon canola oil in the skillet and add the onions and the carrots and cook until softened. Add the garlic and the zucchini and cook for a few minutes. To that, add the green beans and peas (no need to defrost them first). Use salt and pepper sparingly as you are adding new ingredients to taste. Add a few splashes of white wine, if using and leave to evaporate. Dissolve the cornstarch in the stock then add it with the milk and the mustard to the skillet. Put the chicken back and add the dried herbs. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for a while until thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning. You may feel like adding more herbs as well or if the sauce gets too thick you can thin it with more milk. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with fresh parsley.
At the same time, peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes and boil in cold water until fork tender. Drain and return back for a minute to the hot pan to remove excess moisture. Add salt and pepper to taste as well as a few gratings of nutmeg.
Transfer filling to an ovenproof pan or individual ramekins (I used a Pyrex pan) and top with the mashed potatoes. When we have company, I sprinkle a little bit of cheese on top. I have tried Gouda, Gruyère, and Cheddar, all with a sprinkling of parmesan as well. When we are alone, I skip the cheese and add a few splashes of warmed low-fat milk to the potatoes while mashing.
Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the filling is bubbly. Put under broiler for 3-5 minutes till the topping is golden brown.
I’ll have to say that I totally forgot to take a picture before we started to eat. This is what I could manage through my iPhone as my camera is also in repair. But I promise you the taste is sooo good!!