The Shakers - or Shaking Quakers - settled in America from Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries. This recipe is a great example of their belief in the rich rewards of simple living.
It's a fantastic, flavourome dish that it's so easy to make that it's perfect when you need something quick. It uses leftovers to create a brand new filling meal. For example, when I made it I used some leftover poached chicken and instead of breadcrumbs I toasted my leftover loaf.
Ingredients (serves 4 to 6 people):
2-3 cups cooked chicken meat, diced
1 apple, diced
1 onion, thinly chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
6 tbsp butter
125ml apple cider
half a tsp salt
quarter tsp pepper
1 cup breadcrumbs
for the sauce:
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter
250ml double cream
1) Gently saute the apple, onion and celery in 4 tbsps of butter, until they are soft.
2) Add the cider, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft.
3) Uncover the pot and continue to cook the mixture until it is thickened.
4) To make the sauce, cook the flour and butter in a saucepan for a few minutes, stirring until the mixture just begins to change colour. Add the cream, and cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens.
5) Mix into this sauce the cooked vegetables and the chicken.
6) Pour the mixture into a buttered baking dish and sprinkle with breadcrumbs and the remaining 2 tbsps of butter, melted.
7) Bake in an oven, preheated to 350F / 180C, for 20 minutes or until browned.