Chicken and Porcini Shepherd’s Pie with Fontina Sage Potatoes

Chicken and veggies simmered in a white wine sauce and topped with fontina sage mashed potatoes is an innovative variation on traditional shepherd’s pie.


  • 2 pounds starchy potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, cream or chicken stock
  • 4 stems of fresh sage, leaves removed and thinly sliced
  • Black pepper
  • 1 cup Italian Fontina cheese, shredded
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 pound 1/4-inch thick pancetta or prosciutto, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless, white meat chicken
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine


Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Salt the water and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, 12-15 minutes. When tender, drain the potatoes and return to the hot pot. Mash the potatoes with the milk, cream or stock, sage, salt and pepper and the cheese. Add nutmeg, to taste, and stir in the egg.

While the potatoes come to a boil, place the porcinis in a small pot and cover with the stock. Place over medium heat, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer to reconstitute the mushrooms.

While the mushrooms are softening, heat the EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat, place an oven rack in the center of the oven, and pre-heat the broiler. Add the pancetta to the hot EVOO and crisp for 2-3 minutes, then add the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the shallots and carrots and cook for 5 minutes more. Sprinkle the veggies with the flour and cook for 1 minute, then add the wine.

Remove the porcinis from the stock and stir the stock into the chicken mixture. Chop the porcinis and stir them into the mixture. Thicken the sauce for 2 minutes and scoop the chicken into a 9-inch x 14-inch casserole or individual casseroles. Top with the potatoes, brown under the broiler for a couple of minutes, then serve.

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