Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Colcannon on Chicken and Apple Pie

We just tried this recipe in our house this past week, and it is wonderful.  Once again, I will give it to you as it is printed on the website, without my 'tweaks.'  The tweaked one will be in my cookbook.  
I wanted to cook something that seemed very 'British,' and this one seemed to add the best of the United Kingdom in it!

Colcannon and Chicken and Apple Pie

Colcannon is a simple, warming Irish potato dish, combining mashed potatoes with shredded cooked cabbage and chopped spring onions. Here it is used as a lovely pie topping for chicken cooked in cider with sliced apples and carrots. The pie is a well-balanced meal in itself, needing no accompaniments. 

1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 large onion, sliced
450 g (1 lb) skinless boneless chicken breasts (fillets), cut into chunks
3 carrots, thickly sliced
240 ml (8 fl oz) chicken stock
240 ml (8 fl oz) dry cider
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1 tsp dried tarragon
2 Cox's apples, thickly sliced
1 tbsp cornflour
salt and pepper
Colcannon topping
700 g (1 lb 9 oz) floury potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
200 g (7 oz) Savoy cabbage, shredded
4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
25 g (scant 1 oz) butter
4 spring onions, finely chopped

Preparation method

Heat the oil in a large, deep, non-stick frying pan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 5 minutes or until softened.
Add the chicken to the pan and cook over a moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until it is no longer pink. Stir in the carrots.
Combine the stock, cider, mustard and tarragon, and pour into the pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes. Stir in the apples and cook, covered, for a further 10 minutes or until the chicken and carrots are tender, and the apples have softened but are still holding their shape.
Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Cook the cabbage in a separate pan of boiling water for 4–5 minutes or until just tender but not soft; drain well.
Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan. Add the milk and butter, and mash until smooth. Stir in the cabbage and spring onions, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.
Using a draining spoon, transfer the chicken, apples and vegetables to a 1.7 litre (3 pint) ovenproof dish. Set aside. Preheat the grill to high.
Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water, stir into the cooking liquid in the frying pan and bring to the boil, stirring until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then pour over the chicken mixture.
Pile the potato and cabbage topping over the chicken mixture, spreading it evenly to cover. Place under the grill and cook for 4–5 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.

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