Chicken, mushroom, and potato hot pot.

Do you like Jamie Oliver?  He came into my frame of reference about a year ago; before that he sat in the black hole in my mind reserved for TV-celebrity chefs: I knew of him, would sometimes catch a show (absentmindedly while doing laundry) but I didn’t cook from his recipes.  After a while, though, I found myself waking up at 7:30 on Saturday mornings to watch the reruns of his show Jamie at Home, looking forward to it for days really, to wake up before anyone else and make a cup of coffee and sit and watch his show, deciding what to cook for dinner.

Thankfully we’ve gotten Tivo since then, because waking up at 7:30 on a weekend never feels as nice when the afternoon rolls around and you want to nap, and I can record, and save, all of Jamie’s shows.  Jim’s convinced that I just like to watch Jamie and his cute British slang, but really it’s (well mostly it’s) the food.  It’s home-cooking, the way home-cooking should be.  There’s an attention to detail without being fussy; an attention to the right details, really, the ones that will help to make the food taste better.  A lot of his dishes are rather ugly, plebeian-looking things.  But the flavors are there, present and beautiful.

This chicken and mushroom dish became my favorite Jamie Oliver dish.  It’s unabashedly simple.  You fry up some vegetables in chicken fat, then add mushrooms and cook until they are dry.  Then you add some chicken pieces, nutmeg, herbs, wine, and sliced par-boiled potatoes.  The dish ends up akin to a shepherd’s pie, with browned, roast potatoes subbing for mashed (a substitution that suits me well) and a warm, earthy flavor that’s perfect for a cool May night, just when you thought summer was about to come and all of a sudden it’s 50 degrees out there.

Jamie Oliver’s cooking no longer sits in the black-hole and I’m a bit sad for how long it took me to come around.  If you’re a home cook who hasn’t been introduced to the man yet, I urge you to try this dish.  (If you can find lovage, which is the herb used in Jamie’s recipe, try it with that too.)  I also urge you to Tivo some of his shows.  His British slang is pretty adorable.

Chicken, Mushroom, and Potato Hot Pot

adapted from Jamie Oliver’s website

serves 4

6 medium potatoes, skins on
2 big handfuls mixed wild mushrooms, or 3 portobello mushrooms
6 chicken thighs, 3 chicken drumsticks
1 red onions, peeled
1 celery sticks
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp plain flour
a few sprigs parsley and thyme, leaves picked
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
salt, pepper
chicken stock, homemade (made with the bones in this recipe if you don’t have any on hand)
splash of dry vermouth
a little melted butter

Cook potatoes in salted boiling water until just tender. Drain and cool.

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Take skin off chicken thighs and drumsticks and cut meat from the bones, saving a few pieces of skin and the bones for stock (made now if you don’t have homemade stock on hand or saved for later.)

In a large oven-proof skillet or braiser, add some of the chicken skin and render the fat. Once rendered, remove the skin and add onion, celery, and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until most of the moisture has evaporated. Add mushrooms and cook over medium heat until all the moisture has evaporated. Add chicken and then vermouth and cook it down. Add flour and stir to combine, then add a tablespoon or two of stock to make a thick gravy. Add herbs, nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Arrange potato slices on top of skillet, as pretty as you can manage. Brush some melted butter over potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Place skillet in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, until potatoes are golden browned and chicken is cooked through and tender.

19 thoughts on “Chicken, mushroom, and potato hot pot.”

  1. “with browned, roast potatoes subbing for mashed (a substitution that suits me well) ”

    Ohhh me too. I don’t even want to try shepherd’s pie because I think “mashed potatoes on top? ehhh…”

    I’ve never cooked from Jamie. I’ll have to reconsider.

  2. Jamie is so great, and I don’t get to catch his show often enough. Or didn’t, if it isn’t airing anymore. This looks like a delicious meal. I should get his latest book already.

  3. I used to watch Jamie religiously 9 years ago (I think he was my substitute boyfriend as I was suffering from a bad breakup at the time). I haven’t had cable in about 9 years so I haven’t been able to catch up with him any longer. Oh well, at least there’s the web!

  4. Every time he cooks it makes me want to get in the kitchen and immediately cook something…now! He really does have tht get your hands in it, glug on some olive oil and just bash it around thing that I love. I can highly recommend his “proper” chicken caesar salad as my go to salad of summer, although I do swap out the pancetta for guanciale.
    I truly hope he inspires a whole generation of 20 somethings to just cook for pleasure.

  5. i think jim’s right – it’s gotta be his accent – his lispy accent! i live with a brit so the luster has worn off a bit. i kinda think jamie o. is annoying but i really do like his cooking. he is simple and does know how to add flair to dishes that are always VERY un-rachael ray or sandy lee-esque. this is a great example of a jamie o. dish and your pics look wonderful as always!

  6. I must admit…I love the boy! Aside from being adorable (I love the accent and the lisp too) I genuinely like his dishes — they are simple and very good. Honest flavors that are easy to come by with just a little care for what we eat and how we prepare it 🙂 This dish is a prime example! Also, he is doing his share to give back by way of his school dinners and Fifteen foundation 🙂 I don’t work for the guy (I wish!), I’m just a fan 🙂

  7. I love Jamie. Love his recipes. Love that he is trying to single-handedly improve the diet of the UK. Folk have got a bit sniffy and a bit cynical about him over here recently: “He’s not THAT good”, “He’s just in it for the money” etc, etc. For some reason Brits don’t like someone being tooo sucessful.

    I think he’s fab though. Not only is he trying his best to help people, he is the only chef I trust enough to serve one of his recipes to guests without having tested it out first.

  8. I like him for trying to improve skool food. I’ve never understood why lunches should be unhealthy, or taste bad, or look bad — or all three, which was the case when I was young. In Norway, kids take sandwiches, so at least you have some control over what they’re eating (if you care) but ideally, for the sake of the kids whose parents aren’t perfect and/or rich, the school should be doing a proper job making lunch. And Jamie’s fixing it in England, or was. i don’t know what came out of that crusade.

  9. I’ve been a Jamie Oliver fan since his early days as the Naked Chef. It’s been a long, complicated affair. Sometimes we disagree. Sometimes I find him annoying. Sometimes he thinks I’m lazy. But mostly it’s been a happy relationship, especially when I actually take the time to cook one of his recipes. Because I’m with you. His food is really nice. And yummy, and unfussy and delicious. And this recipe sounds just wonderful. Thanks for sharing! I’ve never seen the Jamie at Home shows, but I have the book and actually use it for the gardening tips too.

  10. Your recipe looks delicious, just the kind of dish that makes my taste buds go wild. As for Jamie, I really like him and his cooking. He was inteligent enough to pick up what we, mediterraneans, have been doing for century’s and profit from it, alongside having some fun. Cheers for him.
    Tia Maria

  11. His recipes are great, but I still can’t get that video out of my head where he kills a few dozen little chicks or something. I mean, what the hell?

  12. Just stumbled on your bog. Lovely photos and words. Read a piece about Jaimie Oliver in New Yorker last night that made me completely change my previous attitude about him. All about the good work he’s doing around nutrition and food education, and about his childhood, etc.

    I’d love to use your images some day for the little newsletter I write here at Bottlerocket!



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