Individual Passover Chicken Shepherd’s Pies
Recipe and photo contributed by Tami Ganeles Weiser
Prep Time: 40 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Shepherd’s pie is not exactly what you think of for a Passover dinner, but these individual chicken-and-vegetable pies topped with luscious mashed potatoes will have everyone asking for them long after Passover is over!
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large shallots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
3 cloves garlic, cut in half and minced, green center discarded
3 parsnips, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
3 stalks celery, cut into ¼-inch dice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage leaves or ½ teaspoon dried sage
¾ teaspoon dried mustard powder
¾ teaspoon ground fennel seed
¼ cup medium dry sherry (NOT cooking sherry, please) or medium-bodied white wine
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons potato starch
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 teaspoons Passover Worcestershire sauce, Lieber’s brand preferred
1¾ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch dice
2 bags (3.5 ounces each) cooked, peeled chestnuts, preferably Galil
8 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large fresh whole sage leaves
3 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
¼ cup nondairy, non-hydrogenated margarine, cut into 1-inch dice
¼ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- Make the mashed potatoes: Place the cut potatoes in a large pot of cold water with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 3 fresh sage leaves and bring to a boil. Cook the potatoes until you can pierce a piece easily with a sharp knife. Drain and press through a ricer or food mill into a bowl. Add the margarine and pepper and stir well. If you have a pastry bag (disposable plastic pastry bags are your kitchen’s best friends!), fit it with a large tip and fill with the potatoes. Refrigerate in a large sealable plastic food storage bag until you are ready to cook (up to 1 day) and return to room temperature before using.
- When you are ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray six 6-inch pie plates with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Set aside.
- Make the stew: Heat the oil in a Dutch oven set over a large, deep saucepan set over high heat until it shimmers. Add the shallots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are translucent and begin to turn brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the parsnips, celery, salt, pepper, thyme, sage, mustard powder, and fennel seed. Add the sherry and vinegar and stir well. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Whisk the potato starch into the stock and stir slowly into the pot. Reduce the heat to low, add the Worcestershire sauce, and stir well. Add the chicken, stir well, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the chestnuts and stir again. Cover and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. The chicken will not be cooked through, but do not worry. Remove from the heat.
- Divide the stew mixture evenly between the prepared pie plates. If you are using a pastry bag, pipe the potatoes on top to cover. If not, simply top the filled pie plates with a full coating of potatoes, dividing them evenly among the plates, and smooth with an offset spatula. Spray with a light coating of non-stick vegetable oil spray. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until completely heated through. Then set the oven to broil on high, and broil for 2 to 3 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Serve immediately. These can be refrigerated and reheated, but they will get a bit soggy.