Authentic chicken pot pie never was meant to be a savory pie filling suspended between two pieces of crust! I grew up in Pennsylvania, Lebanon County to be precise, so I know a thing or two about the dish. Pot pie is no more a pie than hamburger is ground up ham. It is actually more of a soup than any type of pastry.
This recipe is also rather labor intensive, better to be prepared on a lazy Sunday afternoon than a busy weeknight. There are two steps in making a good pot pie. The noodle step and the soup step.
The noodle step
3 cups flour
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening (like Crisco)
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
Combine the flour, egg, and shortening together using your hands on a flat surface. While combining the dough mixture, add small amounts of water until it holds together in a smooth ball.
Divide the dough into two or three workable pieces.
Roll each piece to about 1/8″ thick on a floured board. Cut the rolled out dough into squares – about 2 inches to 2-1/2 inches wide.
The noodles will look more like squares of dough than long pieces of spaghetti.
Dry for about 30 minutes or more before cooking.
The soup step
1 – 3 lb. chicken
2 quarts water
5 medium potatoes – peeled and cut into bite size chunks
3 stalks chopped celery
1 small chopped onion
3 finely chopped carrots
1 table spoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Poach the chicken in a large pot of water until cooked to the bone.
Remove the chicken from the broth and let cool.
While the chicken is cooling, heat a large skillet with a little vegetable oil and fry the onions, celery and carrots until softened but still crisp, which is about 10 minutes. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
Add the vegetables to the broth and stir.
The chicken should be cool. Shred it into bite size pieces. Pot pie has shreds of chicken, not cut up chunks, and I find that my hands shred the meat better than two forks. Add the chicken to the vegetables and broth.
Carefully place the pot pie squares to the broth mixture, one by one, stirring frequently so they don’t stick together.
Cook gently for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the noodles are tender.
Check the seasoning one last time by adding salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in large bowls.
I know that most people are thinking that they can cut corners in this recipe. Pre-made noodles can be purchased, but they are not as doughy and chewy as noodles made from scratch. Cartons of chicken broth and boneless, skinless chicken breasts can also be found at any grocery store, but they won’t give the soup that familiar yellow glow that screams this is the real dutchified delight! Enjoy!