Chicken Murphy is an old-fashioned Irish stew made from leftover roast chicken or turkey.
It’s typically prepared using white meat chicken (breast) but can also be made using dark meat.
What Kind Of Chicken Do You Use For This Recipe?
In Ireland, where it originated, poultry is traditionally roasted whole.
This means that if there are any leftovers after your holiday dinner, they will likely go into Chicken Murphy.
However, in America, roasting chickens has become more popular as people have started buying them individually cut up and frozen, so we recommend purchasing pre-cut and frozen boneless skinless breasts to save time during your preparation process.
If you’re looking for something different, try these other recipes featuring leftover roast chicken!
- Roasted Turkey Pot Pie Recipe – Roast turkey breast and make pot pie filling out of it
- Turkey Meatloaf – Make delicious meat loaf by mixing ground turkey with spices, eggs, and veggies
- Easy Ham Dinner Salad – Use leftover ham from Sunday night’s dinner to create this easy salad
How Do You Prepare The Chicken?
The first step to preparing Chicken Murphy is to remove all visible fat from the chicken.
You should then cut off any excess skin, as it will make your gravy too greasy.
Next, place the chicken into a large skillet and season it well with salt and pepper.
Add some butter if desired.
Cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit inside the thickest part of the thigh.
Remove the bird from the pan and let rest while you prepare the other ingredients.
Next, chop up one medium sized onion and two ribs celery stalks into small pieces.
Peel and dice three medium sized russet potatoes.
Roughly chop four carrots and peel them by peeling away the outer layer.
Place these vegetables into a large pot along with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Stir everything together so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
Add enough water to cover the vegetables and bring the mixture to a boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat slightly and simmer the mixture for about 15 minutes.
Then add the sliced breast of chicken back into the pot, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
Reduce heat further and continue cooking for another 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.
Make sure to skim off any foam that rises to the top of the pot during cooking.
Once the chicken has been partially cooked through, pour half of the liquid out of the pot and discard.
Return the remaining liquid to a low boil and cook until reduced by half.
While this is happening, place a strainer on top of a bowl to catch the juices.
When the liquid is done reducing, return the chicken to the pot and stir in the strained broth.
Bring the mixture back to a boil, turn down the heat, and allow it to simmer until ready to serve.
Finally, once the chicken is fully cooked, strain the reserved cooking liquid again and pour it into a separate container.
Allow the liquid to cool completely before adding it back into the pot containing the shredded chicken.
To finish, reheat the mixture and add the cooked rice and peas.
Mix everything together thoroughly and enjoy!
What Kind Of Potatoes Do You Use?
You will need to make sure your potato has enough starch.
You want to choose a variety of potato that has high starch content such as russet potatoes (baking), red waxy potatoes (waxy), or new potatoes (new).
A medium sized potato should yield about 1 cup mashed potatoes after boiling.
If you are making this dish on Thanksgiving Day, it would be wise to double up on the amount of potatoes used to ensure there’s plenty left over for another meal.
How Do You Cook The Potatoes?
The first step involves peeling and boiling your potatoes to get them tender enough to mash into a smooth puree.
If you don’t have time to peel and boil the potatoes ahead of time, however, there are ways around this obstacle.
For instance, if you’re cooking the chicken in batches, simply cut the boiled potatoes into bite-sized pieces so they can be quickly added back into the pot after being boiled once more.
If you want to make sure your potatoes aren’t too mushy when mashed up, you should try adding some salt before mashing them.
When it comes to seasoning, the traditional method calls for 1 teaspoon of salt per pound of potatoes.
In other words, if you want to add 2 teaspoons of salt per cup of potato, just double the amount of salt listed on the package.
You’ll also need to wash any excess starch off of the potatoes prior to mashing them.
To do this, place the washed potatoes in cold water and let sit until the starch has been removed.
Then drain the potatoes again by squeezing them with clean hands and allowing them to dry thoroughly.
What Type Of Cheese Do You Use?
A layer of melted cheddar on top of the finished product gives this chicken murphy recipe its name as well as its flavor.
You could make it without any cheese at all if you prefer, but we think cheddar adds just enough richness to keep your taste buds happy.
If you’re not sure what kind of cheese would work best for you, try our suggestions below!
Cheddar Cheese Suggestions
- Sharp Cheddar
- Monterey Jack
No Cheese Suggestions
How Much Cheese Do You Use?
This traditional Irish dish is usually accompanied by mashed potato, boiled cabbage, and peas.
A typical serving size would be about 1/4 pound per person.
However, if you’re making it as part of a larger meal, then you may want to increase quantities accordingly.
How Do You Make The Sauce?
The base of this recipe is a thick, rich cream sauce flavored with onions, herbs, mushrooms, and bacon bits.
While it may sound like a lot of ingredients, they’re actually quite simple to prepare — just sauté them until soft before adding them to the base sauce.
You’ll need about half cup of flour to thicken up the sauce as well.
Once your sauce is done cooking, add some milk so that it doesn’t dry out while waiting on the other components of your chicken murphy to cook through.
And if you’d prefer not to eat dairy products, feel free to substitute soy milk instead.
Next, we’ve got your vegetables.
In order to keep things balanced, I recommend serving two portions of each vegetable type per person.
If you don’t have all four types of vegetables available, you can swap one for another in the list below.
Make sure you choose vegetables that are similar in shape, size, color, texture, and flavor so that they complement each other well.
How Do You Assemble The Dish?
The first step in preparing Chicken Murphy is cooking the chicken.
You’ll want to start by cutting your chicken up into small pieces so they’re easy to stir around while they simmer.
Once the chicken has been cut, put it in a pot on medium heat with enough water to cover.
Bring the mixture to a boil before turning down to low heat.
Let it simmer until the chicken is tender when poked with a fork.
Once the chicken has finished simmered, remove it from the pan and set aside.
Next, add some oil to the same pan where the chicken was cooked, then add the onions along with about 1/4 cup of flour.
Cook this mixture for 3 minutes before adding the milk, stock, cream, and spices.
Continue stirring regularly as you bring the liquid to a boil.
While the soup is heating, place the cubed potatoes and carrots in another bowl.
After the soup comes to a full boil, turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes.
After all ingredients have had time to cook fully, skim off any fat floating at the top and check if there are any vegetables that need more cooking time.
If not, you’re ready to serve! To serve, spoon each person their own serving of the soup followed by a generous amount of rice.
Sprinkle parsley flakes on top for garnish.
How Long Does It Take To Cook?
This traditional Irish comfort food takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to prepare, including 20 minutes for cooking the vegetables.
So if you’re looking at a 4 to 6 hour dinner, this isn’t going to work out well.
But there are ways around that problem! If your family loves hearty stews like this one, consider making a big batch on Sunday night and freezing half of it for later use.
That way, you’ll have enough time to reheat it during the week without having to make two meals at once.
You could even freeze individual portions so you don’t need to thaw them before serving.
But if you’d prefer something more convenient, here are three options to speed up preparation time:
- Use rotisserie chicken instead of fresh chicken breasts. Rotisseries tend to have better flavor than regular chickens and will save you several hours of prep work.
- Make this recipe ahead of time by cutting all the ingredients into large chunks and placing them in freezer bags. Then transfer everything to a slow cooker when you get home from work and let it simmer away while you unwind. Just add water as needed to keep everything moist.
- You may not think you need to “do” anything special to turn a frozen pot pie into a delicious homemade version, but actually you can double the amount of potato and beef broth and increase the baking time by 10 minutes. If you want to go really crazy, you can toss the entire contents of your frozen pot pie into a 9×13 pan and bake it until golden brown. I’m just saying — it might look like a lot of extra work, but it ends up being totally worth it!
What Are Some Serving Suggestions?
There are many ways you could serve this delicious dish, including on its own as a main course, accompanied by mashed potatoes and vegetables or simply tossed through pasta.
You might even want to try putting it into casseroles like Shepherd’s Pie, which makes it more comforting and hearty.
- 1 Shallow bowl
- 1 Skillet
- 1 Mixing bowl
- 1 pound chicken cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon, divided
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- olive oil
- 1 pound Italian sausage casing removed
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 green bell pepper seeded cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
- 16 ounces cremini mushrooms quartered
- 4 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup peppadew pepper brine
- 1 russet potatoes 3/4 inch diced
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup peppadew peppers cut in half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons parsley chopped
- Season the chicken cubes on both sides liberally with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, dredge chicken pieces in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, shaking off excess.
- In a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, then add floured chicken and brown on both sides. Place on a plate and set aside.
- Cook until the sausage is lightly browned in the skillet over medium heat. Set aside the sausage on the plate with the chicken. Remove skillet from heat and pour off all but enough fat to coat the pan’s bottom.
- Combine the onions, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic in a mixing bowl. Cook for 6-7 minutes on medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute after adding the remaining 1 tablespoon flour to the skillet. Bring the white wine to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and vigorously simmer for 5 minutes, or until the wine has reduced to a thick, syrupy consistency.
- Combine peppadew brine, chicken stock, russet potato, 2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, Italian seasoning, and peppadew peppers in a mixing bowl. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat and cover for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender.
- Cook until heated through and the edges of the potatoes are slightly crumbling after adding the browned chicken and sausage. Serve with angel hair pasta that has been cooked. Serve with chopped parsley on top.