Let’s face it. Irish food is not pretty. This was the most decent photo I could snap of the Chicken and Mushroom Boxty before losing my patience with it completely. Please don’t let the look of it turn you off. I only share recipes worth sharing, and this is no exception.
This is actually a repeat recipe from the archives and, if you can imagine, the former photo was even worse. (Don’t tell anyone, but I left it posted here so you could see.) I made this for the first time two years ago when my best friend and I decided to spontaneously cook an Irish dinner for some friends. We had fun creating a mess in her kitchen from grating the potatoes, staining her kitchen towels while squeezing out the starchy liquid, and then mixing up some delicious batter for these individual chocolate stout cakes. This time, since I’ve had much more practice and also acquired a new helpful tool (my KitchenAid food processor), I was able to fine-tune the recipe and ended up with not as much of a disastrous mess.
Although it might be best to eat this blind-folded, we enjoy boxty and various fillings. This filling is a favorite because of it’s creamy Marsala infused sauce that pairs nicely with the potato cake (the boxty). You can make the boxty’s big or small and decide to serve the filling inside or on top. If you want to serve a traditional Irish meal this Thursday for St. Patrick’s day, look no further.
Chicken and Mushroom Boxty
Yield: 4 servings
For the Filling:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour for coating
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cubed (about 3 breasts)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup heavy cream
more flour, as needed
Mix together the flour, salt, pepper and oregano in a shallow bowl. Drop in the chicken pieces and evenly coat with the flour mixture.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken and onions until chicken is almost fully cooked. Stir in the mushrooms and cook for another minute. Add the Marsala, then cover the skillet and simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes; stir occasionally. Pour in the cream and bring to a boil. Cook until the liquid is reduced to desired thickness. If the sauce is not thick enough, add a little flour as needed.
For the Boxty:
Recipe Note: It is important to not make the potato cake batter too far in advance before cooking them, as it will turn brown or black.
1 9-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups grated peeled russet potato (about two 9-ounce potatoes), squeezed dry in kitchen towel
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (approximately) buttermilk
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Boil the 1-inch pieces of potato in a saucepan until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain then return to the saucepan and mash. Transfer 1/2 cup of the mashed potato to a mixing bowl; discard the rest or reserve for another use. Mix in the grated potato, flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually pour in enough buttermilk to form the texture of firm mashed potatoes.
Preheat a large heavy skillet or griddle over medium-high heat until hot (about 350˚F). Brush with oil. Drop a large spoonful of the potato mixture onto the skillet/griddle, then flatten into a pancake sized round. Use more or less potato depending on the size of potato cake you desire. Cook until the boxty is golden brown and slightly puffed, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is browned, about another 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, brushing with more oil as necessary.
If using the filled method, place one large potato cake on dish, spoon desired filling amount on top, then roll the potato around the filling. Otherwise, just place the potato cakes on one serving dish and the chicken filling in another and let your guests assemble as they please (typically potato cake flat, then topped with chicken).