This Chicken Pot Shepherd’s Pie is a fusion of two classic, family friendly meals: Shepherd’s Pie and Chicken Pot Pie. Sponsored by Idaho Potato Commission.
When my husband and I had our first child, we found ourselves in a new city, looking for a new house. My husband had begun a new job and I moved down from Los Angeles to join him… when my baby boy was only 2 weeks old. What was I thinking? Packing and moving with a newborn?!
I was a first-time mom and I was delirious from lack of sleep. Boxes took forever to get unpacked. The house was empty and expensive. We lived paycheck to paycheck those first few years in San Diego. And I learned quickly how to live on a super tight budget.
So when the Idaho Potato Commission asked me to develop four recipes using a 10-pound bag of Idaho Potatoes that would feed a family of four for $25 or less, I was up for the challenge. Today’s post is one of these four budget-friendly recipes. It was also the cheapest meal, with ingredients costing totaling $3.98 (not including staple items like spices, oil and flour). Yup, $4 to feed a family of 4. And that’s 4 hearty servings of Chicken Pot Shepherd’s Pie. No one is going hungry after this meal!
But before I share the recipe, I want to share you my tips on how save money at the grocery store, and how I was able to make a meal, costing $1 per serving.
First and foremost, is to become a savvy shopper and shop sales. There are multiple of grocery stores to choose from, from major chains to small ethnic markets. Learn to read the weekly circulars and control those impulse purchases. Buy shopping this way, I was able to buy a 10-lb bag of Idaho Potatoes from my middle eastern market for only $2.79 and boneless chicken breast for only $1.49/pound at a major grocery store. So, shop what’s on sale and stock up! When meat is marked down, I buy a lot, use what I need and freeze the rest.
The second way to save money, is to make your own meals. Not only is processed food expensive, it tastes terrible and is ridiculously unhealthy for you. Making your meals from scratch may sound like a horrible task, but you will save money in the long run. And you might surprise yourself with your cooking skills!
My last tip piggy backs on tip #2: get creative in the kitchen. Maybe you can’t afford all the ingredients in some fancy schmancy recipe, come up with less expensive alternatives. Getting creative also works when trying to save time on the cooking and preparation. Which brings us to my Chicken Pot Shepherd’s Pie. I got a little creative.
While thinking about the numerous meals I can make with Idaho Potatoes, I thought about the classic Shepherd’s Pie. I had never made it before, and honestly, after looking at the recipe, I knew my family wouldn’t be too excited about it. So I pushed that idea aside. A few days later, out of the blue, Middle Child asked me if I could make chicken pot pie. He was curious because I had never made it for him before. It got me thinking. I was still working on potato recipes. No potatoes in the traditional chicken pot pie, so I decided to make my own version, like this Chicken Pot Shepherd’s Pie.
Although the potatoes are boiled in a second pot, everything else is cooked in a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have an oven-safe pan, you can also cook it in a regular pan and bake everything in a casserole dish. The creamy chicken and vegetables lay on the bottom of the pan and are covered with a fluffy layer of mashed potatoes. This is serious comfort food. And I think I got 6-servings with this recipe. It just depends how hungry you are!
I hope you like it and stay tuned for the remaining recipes I created for the Idaho Potato Commission for their 4 meals/4 servings/$25 promotion.
- 2 1/2 lbs Idaho Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cup milk, divided
- 2 TBS butter
- 1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp black pepper, divided
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil, divided
- 1 chicken breast, diced (approximately 1lb)
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1/2 cup celery
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 tsp ground thyme
- 2 TBS all-purpose flour
- 1 cup chicken broth
- In a medium sized pot, place peeled and cut potatoes, add salt and water to cover. Bring to boil and continue cooking until potatoes are fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- Once cooked, drain water and return pot full of cooked potatoes to the stove.
- Add butter, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1 cup milk to the potatoes. Using a hand masher, mash potatoes until all ingredients are incorporated and mashed potatoes are smooth. Set potatoes aside.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Add 1 TBS olive oil to a large 10-inch cast iron skillet or oven-safe pan, over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add diced chicken and cook until evenly browned.
- Once chicken is browned add onions and continue to cook until onions have softened, approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in carrots, celery, and frozen peas. Cook vegetables for 5 more minutes then season with 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and thyme.
- Add remaining 2 TBS oil and 2 TBS flour to the vegetables.
- Stir and cook until flour is incorporated.
- Stir in chicken broth and remaining 1/2 cup of milk.
- Cook until mixture is thick. Remove from heat.
- Gently spread mashed potatoes evenly over the chicken mixture until fully covered.
- Place skillet in the oven and bake until bubbly and golden, 20-30 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 415Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 878mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 16g