A boxty is a griddle or pan cake make out of potato, flour and milk. They can be made more cake like and served as pancakes or they can be more crepe like and folded around a filling which can be sweet or savory. A very versatile thing, a boxty is. Since today is Shrove Tuesday and St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, I thought a chicken and mushroom stuffed boxty would be fun to serve up today.
My first encounter with a boxty was in an Irish pub in Annapolis, Maryland. Their version was more pancake like and filled with a mix of pepper, onions, mushrooms and a sharp cheddar cheese. I’ve since had them stuffed with steak and another version with seafood.
The recipe I used as inspiration today comes from Taste of Home. It has a chicken and mushroom filling flavored with bacon, onion and thyme. An easy pan gravy pulls it all together.
I struggled with the recipe from Taste of Home as written, although I’ve seen others with similar proportions. After making adjustments, our second batch yielded pancake like boxties. You could add another tablespoon or two of milk or water to the batter if you’d prefer a thinner boxty. The finished boxty should be crispy on the outside and tender, rather than pasty, inside.
If you have a griddle or two skillets use them so you can make several boxties as once. Otherwise, you can hold the finished boxties in a warm oven until ready to fill and serve.
There’s no set amounts for the filling ingredients, feel free to add a little more of this, a little less of that to accommodate what you have on hand. I made the filling first and covered it with a lid while preparing the boxties. It’s easy enough to heat it back up if necessary.
This recipe made 6 plate sized boxties and was plenty for a light dinner.
For the boxties:
- 1 medium potato, peeled and grated. Rinse the starch off the grated potatoes and let drain well
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup mashed potatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
For the chicken and mushroom filling:
- 2 strips of bacon, diced
- 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms (I bought the pack)
- 1/2 onion sliced thinly
- 1 carrot peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup of milk
- 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into cubes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- olive oil
- chopped parsley for garnish
- 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese for garnish
Make the filling first
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet until almost crisp, remove to a paper towel lined plate.
- Saute the onions and carrots in the bacon drippings, adding a little more olive oil if needed.
- When the onions and carrots have softened, add the mushrooms. Stir well to coat them with the drippings/oil in the skillet.
- When the veggies are cooked to your satisfaction, sprinkle the flour over everything in the skillet and stir to coat.
- Give it a minute or so to cook off the flour and then add about a half cup of milk.
- Return the bacon to the skillet and season with thyme, salt and pepper.
- Add the rest of the milk and the chicken. Let the chicken heat through and the sauce thicken.
- Cover with a lid and remove from the heat. You can reheat if necessary before filling the boxties.
Making the boxties
- Make sure the grated potato has been rinsed and drained.
- Add it to the flour, mashed potatoes and salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Add the milk and mix well. The batter should be about the consistency of pancake batter. Add more milk to thin it out. If you need to thicken it, add more mashed potato instead of more flour.
- Heat a little oil in the bottom of a medium skillet on medium heat.
- Use a ladle to pour some batter into the skillet (mine holds 1/2 cup). Work quickly and use the bottom of the ladle to spread the batter out. Lower the heat if needed to keep the boxty from cooking too quickly.
- After a couple minutes or when the top has started to dry and the edges have color, flip it and cook the other side for a minute or so more.
- Remove the cooked boxty to a paper towel lined plate to hold while cooking the rest.
- To fill: arrange the boxty on a plate, place a large spoonful of filling on one side and top with cheese and parsley as desired, fold the other side over top.
My son referred to the chicken and mushroom stuffed boxty as an Irish quesadilla, and there’s a lot of similarity. Alter the seasonings slightly and any of your favorite fajita fillings would work with a boxty. What would be your favorite?