Chicken, Spinach and Pasta Gratin

, from Issue #23. September, 2015
Photography by Nick Tresidder.
Chicken, Spinach and Pasta Gratin

This dish calls for a roast chicken. You can cook one yourself or purchase a rotisserie chicken from the local deli.

Serves: 6


1 roast chicken

75 grams butter
1 garlic clove, crushed
1⁄2 cup plain flour
pinch ground mace
2 cups milk
1 cup chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 handfuls baby spinach
1⁄2 cup sour cream

To assemble
200 grams Trenne pasta
50 grams cheddar cheese, grated
1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1⁄2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

6 x 1 1⁄2 cup capacity gratin dishes, lightly buttered


Chicken: Remove all the meat from the chicken carcass, discarding the fat, skin and bones. Shred into bite-sized pieces.

Sauce: Melt the butter with the garlic in a large saucepan. Whisk in the flour and mace to make a smooth paste. Cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the combined milk and chicken stock to make a smooth sauce. Keep whisking until the sauce comes to the boil. Season well. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted then the sour cream.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Pasta: Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling, well salted water until al dente. Drain well, add to the sauce and fold together with the chicken. Spoon into the gratin dishes. Toss the breadcrumbs with both cheeses and sprinkle over the pasta. Bake until the tops are golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Stand for 5 minutes before serving. 

Trenne pasta: a short, tubular pasta with a quill-shaped end and a ridged exterior to which the sauce can cling. Substitute with penne or ziti.