Irish boxty is a potato pancake made with grated raw potato, mashed potato, flour, buttermilk and baking soda. In recent years the popularity of boxty has soared with the introduction of thinner boxty pancakes wrapped around savory fillings.
My version of this delectable Irish delight comes with a filling of chicken, mushrooms, bacon and white Irish cheddar in a rich cream sauce, wrapped in a tender potato pancake.
A few months ago I received an e-mail from a reader who first tasted stuffed boxty on a visit to Dublin. She raved about the pairing of a creamy chicken filling and a hearty potato pancake created taste perfection on the palate.
Ever since returning to the United States she has failed in her attempts to recreate the delectable meal that introduced her to boxty. I’ve never tasted restaurant style boxty in Dublin, but I hope my version of chicken and mushroom stuffed boxty will rekindle tasty memories of Ireland for this reader.
A few years ago for my blog, I cooked traditional boxty, a thick, satisfying cake that is really a cross between a pancake and a hash brown.
The batter used is too thick to create a pliable pancake that can be wrapped around a delicious creamy filling.
And so I adapted my boxty recipe slightly to create a thinner boxty batter. This soft but slightly textured boxty highlights a tasty creamy chicken and mushroom sauce, zinging with decadent flavors of bacon and cheddar cheese.
Gaelic boxty originated in the northwest counties of Ireland around Cavan and Leitrim.
The name boxty derives from the Irish language name of arán bocht tí (pronounced aw-rawn buck-th tee). This literally means poor house bread, but trust me, these hearty stuffed boxty are far from a poor house meal.
Ingredients For Chicken And Mushroom Stuffed Boxty:
- 1 Medium potato (peeled and grated)
- 3/4 cups mashed potatoes
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 and 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2oz butter or oil (to fry pancakes)
- 3 Large chicken breasts (4 medium or 1 and 1/2 pounds cut in 1 inch pieces)
- 4 strips of bacon
- 10oz sliced button mushrooms
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2oz butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Making the Boxty Pancakes:
Do you make the filling or the pancakes first? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
I usually make the pancake batter first, but cook them as I am making the filling. This takes a little bit of multi-tasking. If you don’t feel comfortable overseeing a few pans together, then I suggest cooking the pancakes and keeping them warm in the oven as you work on the chicken filling.
Grate the peeled potato and place it in a strainer. Rinse it under running water to remove water and starch.
Squeeze the grated potato with your hands, then press it against the strainer to remove any excess starch.
Add the drained, grated potato to the mashed potato and mix them together.
Sieve the flour, baking soda, salt and pepper into the potato mixture.
Next add the buttermilk.
Blend all of the ingredients together to form a smooth, finely grained batter.
Melt a small pat of butter on an 8-inch cast iron skillet, or frying pan over medium heat. Add a 1/2 cup of batter and tilt the pan to spread it around completely.
Cook the pancake over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes over medium heat.
The underneath side will be a beautiful golden brown, but the top side is a great indicator for when your pancake is ready to turn. The batter will have dried out completely.
Cooking these pancakes on high heat will not work. They burn on the outside before the raw potato inside can cook.
Cook the boxty for an additional 5 minutes on the second side.
Keep the pancakes hot in a warming oven as they cook. I like to place a small piece of aluminium foil between the pancakes in a stack to prevent them sticking together.
This recipe should yield six boxty pancakes.
Making the Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Filling:
Melt a small piece of butter in a skillet.
Add the diced chicken and cook for about 5 minutes until the chicken is turning white all over.
Add the bacon pieces and cook for an additional 3 minutes over medium high heat.
Toss in the minced garlic and mushrooms and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.
Melt the remainder of the butter in the pan. Add the flour and mix thoroughly as it cooks for 1 minute.
Gradually add the milk and whisk the sauce to prevent the formation of lumps.
The slight speckles you see in the photo of the sauce above are little bits of residue bacon.
Add the cream and the grated cheese, stirring constantly until the cheese melts.
If like me, you enjoy the extra sharp tang of Irish cheddar your filling will be beautifully cheesy. But if you find extra sharp cheddar cheese too over powering for your palate, then simply use an American white cheddar.
Return the chicken, bacon and mushroom mixture to the cream sauces. Mix them well to fully coat every chicken and mushroom in sauce.
Simmer for a further 5 minutes to let the flavors meld completely.
If you wish you can add some finely chopped fresh parsley to the sauce to add a little color.
Now you simply need to divide the filling between the six boxty pancakes, and serve them as a delicious wrap.
I like to add a little grated cheddar cheese on top of each serving, and garnish it with a sprig of fresh parsley.
Then all that’s left is to dig in and enjoy.
Served with a side of vegetables or a green salad, these boxty pancakes are a perfect meal for any Irish themed celebration or a St. Patrick’s Day feast.
Here’s the printable recipe: