Thursday, March 8, 2012

Jerk Chicken Shepherd’s Pie

Jerk Chicken Skillet Shepherd's Pie
This Jerk Chicken Shepherd’s Pie is the perfect way to mix things up in the kitchen. With lean chicken and a ton of veggies you can’t go wrong with this one nutritionally.  I was a little worried however that my daughter may not like the dish since she’s such a picky eater.  You can imagine my shock when she gave it the thumbs up.  If you’re tire of making your chicken the same old way this dish is a perfect exotic adventure for your taste buds.

Ingredients list:

·         1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
·         1 tbsp jerk seasoning
·         1 tbsp olive oil (for the chicken marinade)
·         1onion, diced
·         1 red bell pepper, diced
·         2 plum tomatoes, diced
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         1 tbsp olive oil (for the skillet)
·         1 can black beans, rinsed and  drained
·         1 cup corn
·         1 cup gluten free chicken stock
·         cornstarch slurry (1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp of water)
·         chopped scallion and parsley to taste
·         salt and pepper to taste
·         FOR THE TOPPING:
·         2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
·         2 plantains, cut into large pieces
·         ½ cup milk, (you may not use it all)
·         3 tbsp butter
·         1 tbsp honey
·         1 tsp jerk seasoning
·         salt and pepper to taste


1.    Stir the chicken together with a tablespoon each of jerk seasoning and olive oil and set aside.
2.    Add the sweet potatoes and plantains to a pot of salted water and set it on high and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 25 minutes while you make the stew.
3.    Add the chicken to a large nonstick skillet, over a medium high heat and sauté for 3-5 minutes then turn the pieces and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until all of the chicken is lightly browned and you no longer see any pink on the surface then remove the chicken and set it aside. 
4.    Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, tomatoes, peppers and garlic to the pan with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté the veggies for 3-5 minutes or until they’re softened and slightly browned.
5.    Add the corn, beans, chicken stock and cornstarch slurry then stir to combine and add the chicken.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes and the stew will be ready to top. Optionally, just before the potato layer is added you could stir in fresh parsley and chopped scallions to add brightness.
6.    For the topping, check to see that the sweet potatoes and plantains are fork tender then drain them, add the butter, honey, jerk seasoning and salt and pepper to taste and begin mashing.  Slowly add as much milk as you need to reach the desired consistency.
7.    Spoon the mixture, in an even layer over the stew and place it under the broiler for about five minutes to brown the top and then it’s ready to serve. 

Notes:  The jerk seasoning blend that I used included: paprika, onion, thyme, garlic, pepper, allspice, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  It’s certified gluten free and came from the Spicely Company which you can visit (HERE). 

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