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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Tom Kerridge

£1 meals: Tom Kerridge’s budget recipes for chicken pie and spring stew

Tom Kerridge's chicken and spring greens pie.
Tom Kerridge’s chicken and spring greens pie. Photograph: Ola O Smit/The Guardian. Food styling: Esther Clark. Prop styling: Anna Wilkins. Food assistant: Caitlin Macdonald.

These dishes are designed to make life easy; they can be batch-cooked and frozen, are packed full of flavour and areguaranteed crowdpleasers. The stew can include any seasonal vegetables you like, such as crisp asparagus, sweet peas or baby spinach.

Chicken and spring greens pie

I have a real soft spot for a good mash-topped pie, be it a traditional fish, cottage or shepherd’s pie – they are all hearty and delicious. This one really delivers on flavour, and a lot of the hard work is already done for you. A good tip is to make it on a Monday after your Sunday roast; just boil some extra potatoes and mash them ahead of time, and use up any leftover roast chicken, too.

Prep 10 min
Cook 50 min
Serves 4

4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
60ml milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 garlic clove
, peeled and finely chopped
250g spring greens/spring cabbage, sliced
500g cooked chicken (store-bought or leftover from a roast), off the bone and cut into bite-size pieces
1 x 400g tin cream of mushroom soup
A handful grated cheddar (optional)

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/425F/gas 7. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, then mash with a potato masher, adding the milk as you do so. Season and set aside while you get on with the filling.

Heat the oil in a nonstick pan on a medium heat. Add the garlic and spring greens, and stir-fry for three to four minutes. Take off the heat, stir through the chicken pieces and tin of soup, season and transfer to a suitably sized baking dish.

Spoon the mash on top of the filling, then scatter on the grated cheese, if using. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden, then remove and leave to stand for five minutes before tucking in.

Chicken and vegetable stew

Tom Kerridge’s chicken and spring veg stew in a pot and a plate of Tom Kerridge’s chicken and spring veg stew next to the pot.
Tom Kerridge’s chicken and vegetable stew. Photograph: Ola O Smit/The Guardian. Food styling: Esther Clark. Prop styling: Anna Wilkins. Food assistant: Caitlin Macdonald.

I love cooking with chicken thighs – they’re great value and have so much flavour. This stew is easy to make, because the sauce is essentially done for you in the form of a can of chicken soup; thinned down with a little water, it reduces into a lovely, creamy sauce. Stews don’t have to be for winter, either; this one is really versatile, so add whatever spring veg you happen to have in the fridge.

Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
Serves 4

2 tbsp vegetable oil
6-8 chicken thighs
, skinless, bone-in
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
6-8 new potatoes, halved (or quartered if on the large side)
1 x 400g tin cream of chicken soup
2-3 cups baby spinach
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Put a tablespoon of oil in a large, deep ovenproof pan on medium-high heat, then lay in the chicken thighs and cook for four or five minutes on each side, until golden brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Turn down the heat to medium, add the onion and cook, stirring, for one to two minutes, until it softens and starts to turn golden. Add the garlic, followed by the carrot and potatoes, and cook, stirring regularly, until the vegetables start to soften.

Return the chicken to the pan and pour in the soup. Top up with two cups of water, ensuring the chicken is covered, then turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once bubbling, cover with a lid or sheet of foil and put in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through.

Stir in handfuls of spinach, which will immediately wilt into the hot mixture, season to taste and serve.

  • Follow @FullTimeMeals for more filling and budget-friendly recipes from Tom Kerridge.

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