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Chicken and Broccolini Shepherd's Pie

Chicken and Broccolini Shepherd's Pie


For the poached chicken:

  • 1 3-4 pound chicken

  • 1 lemon, sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 1 carrot, halved

  • 1 onion, halved

  • 2 ribs celery, halved

  • Salt

  • A few whole peppercorns

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 herb bundle of parsley, thyme, rosemary

For the potato topping:

  • 2 bulbs garlic

  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 sprigs rosemary

  • 3 pounds (about 5 medium) starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed into 2-inch pieces

  • Salt

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 1/2-2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a couple of big handfuls)

  • Pepper

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 bundles broccolini, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 6 shallots or 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons thyme, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces), homemade or store-bought

  • 1/3 cup cream, a couple turns of the pan

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


To poach the chicken, place the chicken in a pot with the lemon, garlic, carrot, onion and celery. Season with salt and add the peppercorns, bay leaves and herbs and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a low rolling boil for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn off the heat and let the chicken cool in the stock. Remove the chicken from the stock and remove the skin and bones. Pull the chicken meat into bite-size pieces and strain the stock. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. To roast the garlic, cut the ends of the garlic bulbs off to expose the garlic cloves, drizzle with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Place the garlic on foil and top with the rosemary; wrap tightly in a foil pouch and roast until tender and light golden in color, 45-50 minutes. Remove and let cool; then squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins and mash into a paste. Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to boil. Season with salt and cook to tender, 12-15 minutes. Add a little of the starchy cooking water to the beaten egg to temper it, then drain the potatoes and return them to the hot pot. Mash the potatoes with the tempered egg, roasted garlic, butter, milk and cheese; season with salt and pepper, to taste. For the casserole, heat a few inches of water to a boil, salt it and boil the broccolini for 5-6 minutes. Cold shock and drain.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat; add the butter and melt it. Add the shallots or onion, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook until tender, 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle in the flour and stir for 1 minute, then whisk in the stock and thicken. Stir in the cream and heat through. Stir in the Dijon and remove from the heat. Combine the sauce with the broccolini and 4 cups of the poached chicken meat and transfer to a baking dish. Top with the potatoes. (If not serving right away, let cool and refrigerate. Bring to room temp before baking.) Place the potatoes in a pastry bag or large plastic bag. Cut the corner of bag to form make-shift pastry bag to pipe potatoes across top of casserole or into mounds on a baking sheet for individual potato side-dish swirls. Bake at 400°F until hot through and golden, approximately 45 minutes. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, visit