Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chicken Pot Pie

For whatever reason, the "accent" of those in the Central Pennsylvania region includes mispronunciations like "I'm going shopping at The Bun Tun" (The Bon Ton), "I'm going to visit my brother, Runnie" (Ronnie), and "I'm really hungry for chicken put pie" (chicken pot pie). I don't know where this little habit originates from but my grandmother is one of the worst offenders. Last week she told Emma that her outfit was "so purty". Emma promptly replied, "it's pretty, not purty". There probably is some basis that includes the derivations of the Pennsylvania Dutch language, but more than likely it's simply repetition. It's easy for me to forgive her, though, because her influence has been very strong in creating a culinary heritage. If it weren't for my "Nanny", I wouldn't know how to make things like: flaky pie crusts, stuffing balls, mashed potatoes, and chicken pot pie. Her cooking style is very traditional of this area and she still refuses to eat any other style of cooking with the exception being Italian (even then it's usually lasagna or spaghetti!)

Basically, chicken pot pie is a flavorful chicken broth in which homemade, paper-thin noodles are cooked until impossibly tender. This is, most definitely, a perfect winter day treat. Even better is to enjoy this stick-to-your-ribs feast when there is more than 25 inches of snow on the ground! The noodles are quite easy to create, utilizing four pantry-staple ingredients. The key is to mix the dough as little as possible and to make the noodles as thin as you can. The noodles will puff up a good bit while simmering in the broth, so this is key for a tender result. My parents enjoy a bit of horseradish served alongside and I also enjoy how the horseradish cuts a little bit of the richness. When I was in school, our cafeteria served chicken pot pie, and they included potatoes in their recipe, but I really enjoy the simplicity of noodles, chicken and broth. With another significant snowfall in our forecast, consider making this for your family!

Chicken Pot Pie
whole chicken, cut up
sufficient water to cover chicken pieces
medium onion, quartered
2 cups flour
2 eggs
2 tsp kosher salt
3-4 T ice-cold water
ground black pepper
salt, to taste

1. Create a rich broth by simmering chicken pieces and onion in water for at least 1 1/2-2 hours.
2. Remove chicken from broth, discard skin and bones, and shred chicken.
3. Create a well in the flour, add eggs, water, and salt and mix dough with your hands until just moistened, adding water if necessary (dough should be rollable, similar to pie crust).
4. Roll out dough as thin as possible, and using a sharp knife or pizza cutter, create small squares.
5. Simmer noodle squares in broth for at least 40-45 minutes or until tender. I taste my noodles periodically, they should be quite soft (not al dente).
6. Season broth with parsley (dried or fresh), plenty of ground black pepper and salt to your tasting.
7. Pour into a bowl and enjoy-


  1. My noodles definitely aren't as thin as yours. I'll keep practicing.

  2. That looks incredible. And I LOVE horseradish--a little too much for my own good. What a perfect pairing! I think this is definitely something my boys would like :)