Thursday, 6 March 2014


I still had some sweet potatoes left over from when I cooked my pesto, lamb & sweet potato salad but had no idea how to cook them. Whilst I like sweet potato when I eat it, the thought of it isn't very appealing. I searched the internet and found lots of soup recipes which I am not interested in and nearly ended up cooking the lamb salad again!! Then I found this recipe which I did like the sound of…cheese, chicken, leeks - yum! 

It is an easy recipe to cook however I slipped into old bad habits of not reading the recipe properly. I was also rushing as we were late back from ballet and we still didn't have any heating so wanted to get Arabella and I wrapped up in bed asap. so I made several errors - doh! Thankfully it didn't matter as the recipe worked out very well despite my stress - and in the end this warmed me up!

Ingredients for 2 people:

20g butter or reduced fat spread for cooking
15g plain flour
150ml milk
200g mature half fat Cheddar cheese
125g lean cooked chicken breast, diced (I bought raw by mistake)
1 tbsp thyme
3 leeks, washed and chopped
250g sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (I half chopped and half sliced)

Preheat the oven to 190 C / 375 F / gas mark 5.

Boil the kettle / water and add the sweet potatoes into a saucepan of salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes.

While the potatoes are cooking, melt 10g butter in a saucepan, then pour in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring continuously.

Gradually stir in the milk, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 1-2 minutes until thickened and smooth. I didn't read this properly and poured all the milk in one go - after an initial panic that I had ruined the whole recipe, it thankfully was ok and didn't matter. Error number 1!

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in about 130g (two-thirds) of the cheese and the chicken. However this is where I made my second serious error! I had raw chicken not cooked - doh!!! It didn't matter though and I rescued the recipe. So if you have bought cooked chicken just stir it in now, otherwise...

If you have bought raw chicken breast, you can cook it now. Melt the 10g of butter in a frying pan and cook the chicken for a couple of minutes. If they are in bite size pieces they will cook quicker. Then throw in the leeks and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Around now the sweet potatoes are ready and so take them off the heat and drain them. It doesn't matter if everything is ready at different times as you are going to bake it anyway. 

Once the leeks and chicken are cooked (always check the chicken is completely cooked through), stir in with with cheese, milk & flour mixture.

Spoon the chicken mixture into an ovenproof dish and arrange the potato slices on top. My final error - I just chopped half of them, rather than sliced and so it didn't look as pretty as it should. Doh!

Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and the thyme, then bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. For an extra crispy top, place under a hot grill for a couple of minutes before serving. I think it is important to do this, as you know me, I am all about the cheese!!

It wasn't my prettiest looking dish and as I had mentioned I did make several mistakes but I am very happy to report that this was absolutely delicious. The chicken, cheese and leek mixture is just incredible, made even more so by the cheesy sweet potatoes. Arabella enjoyed it too. This is a perfect midweek supper - I would recommend it and definitely cook it again. You could serve it with some green vegetables but I don't think it needs it, it was perfect on its own.

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