This is probably only a very far-out relation of a traditional French Tartiflette but it’s the ultimate comfort-food dinner. It’s got everything you need – Chicken and bacon in a creamy sauce, crispy potatoes topped with cheese, and even some spinach to make sure you get your greens! It’s perfect for using leftovers from a chicken or turkey dinner, and will become a family favourite in no time!
At a certain time of year just substitute the words ‘Chicken’ or ‘Bacon’ with ‘Turkey’ and ‘Ham’ 😉
See my NOTES at the bottom of the recipe to learn what I didn’t have when I made this recipe! As I always say – it’s lovely to follow a recipe exactly, but if you’ve taken a notion to make it today, just adapt it, and use whatever you’ve got..
- A large, family-sized lasagne dish
- a sieve
- A large saucepan
- Measuring jug
- A large frying pan
- a pastry brush, or piece of folded kitchen paper.
INGREDIENTS: Feeds 6-8 people
- Leftover Chicken or Turkey, shredded, about 500g (if you’re starting from scratch, poach 2-3 chicken fillets in the chicken stock for 10 minutes, then shred them)
- 1 large onion, cut into chunks
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 100g streaky bacon cut into lardons, or smoked lardons of bacon (smoked bacon is more traditional in this recipe)
- 6-8 medium/large potatoes, well scrubbed, and cut into slices.
- a dessertspoon of oil, or some low fat spray
- 1 dessertspoon of plain flour
- A large bag of baby spinach (about 300g) (see NOTES)
- 200mls hot chicken or vegetable stock
- Splash of White wine (optional)
- 150ml double cream
- 80-100g cheese, grated or sliced (see NOTES)
- Black pepper
- Some fresh or dried Thyme
- Freshly grated Nutmeg (optional)
- A knob of butter, melted.
- Cook the potatoes gently in boiling water for 5-10 minutes until tender, then drain and cool.
- Put the spinach into the sieve and pour a kettle of boiling water over it – this will wilt it. Then immediately refresh the spinach in cold water. Drain well, then chop roughly. Leave it to cool and drain in the sieve.
- Fry the bacon until crispy, then drain on some kitchen paper. Discard any fat from the pan.
- Add a dessertspoon of oil/ spray the pan.
- Add the onions and cook gently until softened but not coloured
- Add the garlic, the Thyme, the Chicken and the Bacon and stir together. Season with black pepper.
- Sprinkle over the flour and stir it in.
- Add the wine and hot stock; stir in.
- Add the cream.
- Season with a grating of Nutmeg, if you like – I do like!
Layer the dish together:
- Start with a layer of the chicken mixture, then a layer of spinach, then a layer of potato
- Season – you probably won’t need salt as the bacon is salty – so be sure to taste the sauce before adding any salt.
- Repeat the layers, ending with the potatoes.
- Paint the melted butter over the top layer of potatoes.
- Grate the cheese, and set aside.
- The dish is now ready to cook, but can be prepared this far in advance, covered and chilled until ready to cook. See NOTES.
- Heat the oven to 180 fan.
- Put the dish into the oven for 30 minutes if it’s just prepared. If cooking from chilled give it up to 1 hour, covered in foil.
- After the initial cooking, sprinkle the cheese over and cook for a further 30-40 minutes until piping hot inside, and the cheese has crisped up on the potatoes.
- Serve with a crisp green salad, or some fresh or frozen peas.
- Naturally I started to make this recipe without having all the ingredients to hand. If you’ve used any of my recipes before you’ll know that this is a common occurrence I used whipping cream; I had no spinach (I served baby peas from the freezer separately) Here’s another hint – keep the best potato slices for the top of the pie – hide all the broken ones underneath!
- If you’re making this today, and chilling it for eating tomorrow – don’t forget to paint the potato slices generously with the melted butter – it will save them from going black overnight!
- If cooking from chilled, cover loosely with tin foil and cook for up to an hour. Remove the foil to finish as above.
- If you don’t fancy spinach (it adds a welcome shot of colour to this otherwise pale dish) you could use frozen peas, sliced mushrooms, or even small florets of tender stem broccoli to the same effect. Mushrooms or broccoli would need to be pre-cooked lightly.
- To make a more authentic Tartiflette, you should probably use some French cheese such as Reblochon or even Port Salut, in slices (it’s not possible to grate these) over the potatoes. However, you might just prefer to use your family’s favourite cheese (I used mature Cheddar) or whatever’s hanging about. No harm in experimenting though, if you get the chance.
- Be sure to taste everything before you add any salt – the bacon will be quite salty itself.
- If you look at the ingredients, you’ll see why I quite often make this for dinner in the days after Christmas – you can get to use up the last of your turkey and ham. If you have any brussels sprouts left over, you can chuck them in too! The crispy potatoes and creamy sauce help disguise the fact that the family are getting the dreaded leftovers!