Monday, January 17, 2011

Shredded Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

Shredded chicken and mashed potatoes, served with green bean casserole and spiced beets.

Good old country-fare, this was everybody's favorite "hot lunch" at St. Rose School in Perrysburg, Ohio.  Its an easy, stick-to-the-ribs kind of dinner that's sure to please even the pickiest eater.  To get a truly sweet tasting chicken stew, you must use a whole chicken.  You'll find the dark meat has the most flavor, so if you choose to use chicken parts, make sure you throw in the thighs and legs, as well as the breasts.

A favorite shortcut - grab a rotisserie chicken from your favorite market or butcher.  Strip most of the meat from the carcass, and set it aside.  Pour the container drippings into your stew pot along with the stripped carcass (discard the skin).  Add chicken stock, veggies; bring to a boil - reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.  Carefully remove the chicken carcass and any small bones that may have fallen off, from the soup base, and continue on.

1 whole fryer, cut-up, or 1 rotisserie chicken
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small sweet onion, chopped
1 large (32 ounce) can of organic chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch (possibly a little more if needed)
salt and pepper (I use my favorite seasoned salt)
mashed potatoes for four

Place chicken parts, vegetables, and chicken broth (stock) in large stew pot (or follow the rotisserie directions above).  Add 1 teaspoon salt.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender (about 30 minutes).

Remove cooked chicken from the stock with a slotted spoon, and set stock pot aside.  Cool chicken slightly.  Separate the meat from the skin and bones; shred (I use the two-fork method).  Sprinkle the cornstarch over the shredded chicken, stirring to fully coat.

Add the shredded chicken to the stock.  Stir well so the cornstarch dissolves into the stock.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching.  The stock should thicken quite nicely.  Remove from heat when thick enough to serve.

Place a large dollop of mashed potatoes at the center of each dinner plate (or pasta bowl). Make a well in the center with a spoon, and ladle the hot stew over the potatoes.  Serve with hot biscuits and honey :))

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