Monday, February 09, 2009

Mashed potato bowls...

Tonight's dinner, Chicken and Vegetable Mashed Potato Bowls, takes the filling of a pot pie, makes it a bit lighter and twists it around to be served inside of a bowl of mashed potatoes!

Since the potatoes take a bit of time to cook, we got the Yukon golds chunked up and into the pot of cool water before we started on the filling. Because we wanted the potatoes to be scented with garlic, but not overpowered, we added of couple smashed cloves into the pot as well - doing this now will make them soft and tender enough to melt into the potatoes when you mash them, but also takes that harshness of the raw cloves.

Once those were workin', we cooked up a couple chicken breasts simply seasoned with salt and fresh ground black pepper - once done and given a chance to slightly cool, we shredded them into bite-sized pieces. If you want a richer flavor, by all means use thighs instead. In the same skillet we cooked the chicken, we tossed a handful of finely chopped onion, carrots and a sprinkling of dried thyme - after letting the onion soften, broth is added to pull up any of the tasty bits left behind in the bottom of the pan. Here's where the rest of the vegetables come in - peas and florets of broccoli are stirred into the mix and bubble in the seasoned broth for just a minute or two. It is quite liquid-y at this point, so to tighten up the broth to form a sauce, cornstarch is whisked with a little extra broth and added to the skillet full of vegetables. You'll notice the broth will begin to tighten up in a snap - when it had thickened enough, we tossed the chicken back in, along with a spoonful of mustard to bring a little tang into the mix.

As I said, the filling is pretty light and not as creamy as you might expect to find - if you wanted to add some depth, swap out some of the broth for milk instead. By now, the potatoes were tender - once drained, we added some of the starchy water they cooked in, along with a couple pats of butter, to smash them with our trusty potato masher. Again, the potatoes are not as decadent since we used the cooking liquid, but you could certainly use warmed milk if you like - you could also swap out the butter for olive oil too. After divvying the potatoes onto the plates, we pushed the center of them out to form a ring of smashed potatoes and scooped the veggie and chicken filling in.

Refreshing in the sense that it wasn't heavy or gut-busting, we did find it was plenty filling and still comforting without all the richness. The clearness of the sauce was a little odd if you think in terms of a pot pie, but I got over it quickly! While Jeff typically prefers his food separate and in their own little spots (bonus point if they don't touch...!), I was happy to see he gladly finished his plate and didn't mind the potato bowl!


  1. This looks fantastic, you are incredible. my family would love this!

  2. This looks positively fabulous... and beats out those nasty looking KFC bowls by miles and miles. (Who actually EATS those??!!)

  3. Your recipe covers two hits on my "wish list": a recipe for non-dairy pot pie and a recipe for mashed potato bowls. Thank you!

  4. Diane - Let us know what you think!