For a quick and easy family dinner, try this hearty cottage pie packed with succulent chicken and crispy bacon lardons and topped with golden potatoes and rich Cheddar. Full of flavour and simple to make, it's the perfect midweek meal.
· 1 tbsp olive oil
· 500g chicken thigh fillets, chopped into bite-sized chunks
· 100g lardons
· 2 leeks, sliced
· 1 tbsp plain flour
· 250ml chicken stock
· 2 tbsp low-fat crème fraîche or double cream
· 1 x 800g pack fresh mash
· handful fresh parsley, chopped
· 50g Cheddar, grated, plus extra to sprinkle on top
1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or shallow casserole. Add the chicken and lardons and cook until golden. Add the leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Scatter over the flour and stir until absorbed.
2. Gradually pour in the stock then cook for 5 mins, or until the chicken is cooked through with no pink meat showing and the sauce has thickened. Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Stir the crème fraîche or cream into the chicken mixture and season well. Carefully pour the mixture into a large baking dish.
3. Heat the mashed potato following the pack instructions, then stir in the parsley and cheese. Spoon it evenly over the chicken mixture, then top with a little extra cheese. Grill until the topping is golden and crisp. Serve.
Cook as instructed and allow to cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container, seal freeze for up to 1-3 months. To serve, defrost thoroughly in the fridge overnight before reheating. To reheat and serve, place on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the dish is heated through.