I created this chicken mushroom pie for my toddler. I have, like every parent a never-ending quest to get her to enjoy food and mealtimes as much as my wife and I do. She can be the pickiest of eaters, whose toddler isn't?. She LOVES mushrooms and peas so I adapted a couple of "grown up" recipes and made a chicken mushroom pie. Honestly, she demolishes this on a regular basis in mere moments! Don't get me wrong, my wife and I love it too but after we've thrown in a bit of salt!
Feeding The Toddler
My daughter currently has about 5 or 6 dishes that she LOVES for dinner. Typically if I ask her what she wants for dinner I am met with "pasa, pasa". Which is pasta for those of you not up to speed with baby lingo. If it's not pasa then it's "pie, pie". That's the same pie as in grown up talk if you also aren't up to speed with that lingo!
I shit you not it takes her about 2 minutes to demolish this particular pie. Shoveling it into her wide open mouth, not surrendering a drop to the floor! Is that a good thing, should my kid be eating that fast? I think so; the quicker she eats dinner, the quicker I am drinking my pinot!! Also, as I say, this recipe isn't just great for your kids. With the addition of a little salt and maybe some herbs, it's a great all round family pleaser. That us unless you are at the picky teenager stage then I guess I can only wish you and future me luck!
Chicken Mushroom Pie Inspiration
The inspiration for this pie came from pasta dish that my wife craved every night throughout her pregnancy. My wife would be in work and she would text asking what was for dinner and no matter what I said - fish, chicken, steaks, broccoli, apples or even chocolate - I would be met with "is there gonna be pasta???" It's no wonder our daughter is always asking for pasta too. I am currently trying to get her (our daughter that is) to eat food other than pasta. Taking some further inspiration from our home country (Ireland) and said "potatoes it is". Back to the pregnancy pasta dish of chicken, onion, mushroom & bacon in a cream sauce, edited it slightly and well the rest is in the picture above and the recipe below so you can read on to see yourself.
What makes this particular recipe so good is that it's not only super tasty, but it is cost effective and freezes really well too. I make a big batch of this (and other gems I'll share with you in subsequent posts) and then I can just whip a little tub out of the freezer. Let it defrost in the fridge overnight and come feeding time it's about 50 seconds in the microwave and dinner is on the table. Good job too because, lord knows, come 4.30/5pm toddlers have even less patience than they usually have during the day!
- 1/2 a leek or white onion roughly chopped
- 10 button mushrooms roughly chopped
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 6 chicken thighs
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tbsp garlic crushed
- 1 tsp whole grain mustard optional
- 3 large russet potatoes
- 4 tbsp butter
- Heat butter & garlic in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until flour has browned slightly, approx 1 min. Gradually add milk and stir continuously until sauce is heated and has thickened, approx 5-6 mins. Stir in mustard if using.
- Bake chicken thighs on their own on a baking tray at 150c for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile boil potatoes until soft, add butter and mash.
- Saute leek/onion & mushrooms until softened, approx 5 mins.
- Place mushroom mix & frozen peas into casserole dish and sprinkle oregano on top.
- Chop pre-cooked chicken into bite sized pieces and mix into mushrooms and peas.
- Pour sauce over vegetable mix and stir to incorporate
- Spread or pipe (if being extra fancy) mashed potatoes over the top.
- Bake in oven at 200c for 20-25 mins or until potato topping is golden brown.
- large casserole/baking dish
- measuring spoons/jug
- medium sauce pan x 2 - sauce & potatoes
- potato masher
- baking tray
- precooking the chicken will speed up the cooking process when pie goes into the oven, this can be done while the potatoes are boiling and sauce is being made to speed up the total cooking time for you
- make sure to chop vegetables & chicken into small bite sized pieces for your child to be able to chew and swallow comfortably and safely
- if making it for adults or older children I would add salt to the chicken before cooking, as well as into the sauce and also in with the vegetables. This is dependent upon your liking of salt
- from this recipe I typically get enough for 8-10 dinners for my daughter who is 20 months old, or 5 - 6 adult sized portions
- I use chicken thighs for most of my chicken recipes as the brown meat is more tender and moist and I find it withstands both freezing and accidental overcooking much better than the breast