2kg floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward
50ml vegetable oil
30g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 15 mins, then drained (reserve the liquid)
2 large leeks, chopped
2 small onions, chopped
4 medium carrots (about 300g), cut into small cubes
1 vegetable stock cube (make sure it’s vegan – we used Kallo)
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes
½ small pack marjoram or oregano, leaves picked and roughly chopped
½ small pack thyme, leaves picked
½ small pack sage , leaves picked and roughly chopped
4 celery sticks, chopped
400g can chickpeas
300g frozen peas
300g frozen spinach
20ml olive oil
small pack flat-leaf parsley, chopped
tomato ketchup, to serve (optional)
Put the unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 40 mins until the skins start to split. Drain and leave to cool a little.
Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large heavy-based sauté pan or flameproof casserole dish. Add the mushrooms, leeks , onions, carrots and the stock cube and cook gently for 5 mins , stirring every so often. If it starts to stick, reduce the heat and stir more frequently, scraping the bits from the bottom. The veg should be soft but not mushy.
Add the garlic, tomato purée, paprika, squash and herbs. Stir and turn the heat up a bit, cook for 3 mins, add the celery, then stir and cook for a few more mins.
Tip in the chickpeas along with the water in the can and reserved mushroom stock. Add the peas and spinach and stir well. Cook for 5 mins, stirring occasionally, then season, turn off and set aside. There should still be plenty of liquid and the veg should be bright and a little firm.
Peel the potatoes and discard the skin. Mash 200g with a fork and stir into the veg. Break the rest of the potatoes into chunks, mix with the olive oil and parsley and season.
Divide the filling into the pie dishes and top with the potatotes. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and bake the pies for 40-45 mins, until the top is golden and the filling is heated through. If making individual pies, check after 20 mins. Best served with tomato ketchup – as all great shepherd’s pies are.
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, the cumin seeds, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Spread in a large baking dish and roast until the potatoes begin to brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the brown sugar, lemon juice and red pepper flakes. Remove the baking dish from the oven, push the potatoes to the sides and arrange the chicken breasts in the middle.
Season the chicken with salt and drizzle with the garlic mixture. Return to the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through and the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven; transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice. Add the cilantro to the baking dish and toss with the potatoes. Serve the chicken with the potatoes and lemon wedges.
2 tsp finely chopped fresh herbs (such as thyme, sage or rosemary) or ½ tsp mixed dried herbs
50g panko breadcrumbs
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Wedges, snipped chives and roasted potatoes and tomatoes to serve (optional)
Make a production line of a board, two wide, shallow bowls or dishes, and a baking tray that will comfortably fit the chicken, lined with baking parchment or oiled foil.
If intending to bake immediately, heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. (Otherwise, remember to turn the oven on 10 mins before baking.)
In the first dish, mix the parmesan, mayo, garlic, lemon zest, herbs and seasoning to form a paste – a tablespoon does this well, and helps at the next stage. Tip the crumbs into the second dish and shake so they cover the base.
Now the messy part. Put the chicken on the board and, if necessary, trim and discard any flappy bits. Blot well with kitchen paper – this will help the coating stick.
Slide the first breast into the mayo mix and use the spoon to make sure it is coated all over. Pick it up by the pointy end and place on the crumbs. Use a spoon to cover completely with crumbs, and press them on gently until covered all over. Pick up once again by the ‘tail’ and place on the prepared baking tray. Repeat with the second breast, then discard any leftover mayo and crumbs.
Bake for 25-30 mins until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a board and slice into three or four thick slices, scatter over the chives and serve with the lemon wedges, roasted potatoes and tomatoes, if you like.
15g dried porcini mushroom, soaked in 50ml boiling water
500ml stock made with 2 very low salt chicken stock cubes (we used Kallo)
2 tsp Dijon mustard, plus extra to serve
2 bay leaves
Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan, cook the onion for 8-10 mins until softened and starting to caramelise. Meanwhile put the flour and a little salt and pepper in a bowl and toss the chicken in it. Add the garlic and chicken to the pan and cook for 4-5 mins more until the chicken is starting to brown.
Transfer to your slow cooker, along with the rest of the ingredients, including the soaking water from the porcini mushrooms. Give it a good stir. Cook on Low for 7 hours or High for 4 hours. Remove the bay leaves and serve with Dijon mustard on the side.