I had the lovely Abigail over for a spot of dinner and Doctor Who on Thursday evening and so I decided to give this recipe a go. It’s another one from the Rick Stein cookbook Long Weekends, that I got for my birthday. It’s a lovely recipe – tasty and easy to do. It requires shredded cooked chicken so, unless you happen to have some cooked chicken lying about, that does increase the cooking time a bit as you have to cook the chicken first. I just roasted 5 chicken thighs, so they were done in 40 minutes and I could just strip the meat off the bones once they’d cooled a little. Other than that it was all fairly straightforward.
I’m not the biggest fan of olives, either black or green, but they work well in this without being overpowering.
30g of butter
6 large banana shallots, peeled and halved
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped (as ever, I used 1 fat leek instead.)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
4 tablespoons of white wine
4 large ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped
1 tablespoon of tomato purèe
350ml of chicken stock
600g of cooked chicken meatm shredded
16 black olives, halved
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
50g of gruyère cheese
For the topping:
1.5 kg of floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
30g of butter
5 tablespoons of double cream
2 egg yolks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Boil the potatoes for the topping in salted water until tender.
Heat the butter in a large saucepan, over a medium heat and sweat the shalllot halves, carrots, celery (leek) and garlic for 10-15 minutes, until soft.
Add the white wine and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, tomato purèe and chicken stock, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
Add the cooked chicken, olives and chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.
Drain the potatoes and mash them until smooth. Add the butter, cream, egg yolks and season well.
Pre-heat the oven to 180.
Place the filling in a large ovenproof disgh and top with the mashed potato.
Grate the gruyère over the top, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until bubbling and golden.