January 04, 2010

Christmas in the Kittchen, Part Deux: Chicken Parsnip Hash

Probably the best side dish that my father made for Christmas dinner was the acorn squash stuffed with Chicken Parsnip Hash. He made the hash a day or two before Christmas, and it kept beautifully in the fridge until we were ready to...devour it.

The recipe comes from Barbara Kafka's "Roasting--A Simple Art", and it's a perfect way to use leftover chicken (of which I always seem to have lots). My favorite part is that it involves parsnips, which are something I never think to buy at the store, but always enjoy when someone makes them for me. Below is Kafka's recipe for the hash.

Barbara Kafka's Chicken Parsnip Hash
(Serves 4-6 for brunch, 4 for dinner.)
  • 5 small parsnips, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1-1.5 cups leftover chicken, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 5-6 grinds pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 8 medium leaves fresh sage, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cups chicken stock
1. In a small pan of boiling water, cook the parsnip cubes 10 minutes or until tender.

2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tbsp of the butter over low heat in a heavy, nonstick frying pan. Add the onions. When they begin to brown, add allspice, salt, pepper, sage and the last tbsp of butter, and cook until sage is wilted and onions are brown (about 10 minutes).

3. Add the chicken and parsnips, and turn heat to high. Cook until parsnips begin to brown, 5-10 minutes, occasionally stirring and flipping browned sections with a spatula.

4. Add 1/4 cup of the chicken stock. Boil 2 minutes, until liquid has evaporated. Do not stir anymore. Reduce heat to low.

5. Use the spatula to spread out the mixture evenly in the skillet. Press down to compact. Increase heat slightly to medium. Cook 20 minutes. Scoop up large pieces with spatula and turn over. Pour the last 1/4 cup of chicken stock into the skillet, and press down mixture once more until solid. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes.

6. Turn out on serving platter so that crusty browned side is on top.

This hash works perfectly as the centerpiece of a meal, or as stuffing for squash (as we used it). The parsnip flavor is wonderfully rustic, which is a lovely change for those of you whose palates aren't accustomed to many root vegetables.

Happy New Year!

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