Chicken Pot Pie (17Th Century)
Yield: 10 Servings
[FONT=Arial]8 tb butter, sweet
1/2 ts nutmeg, grated
1/2 ts cinnamon, ground
5 tb flour
3 c chicken stock
1/2 c heavy cream
1 1/2 ts salt
3/4 ts pepper, black
1/2 c prunes, pitted; coarsley chopped
1/2 c currants
1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered
1 pepper, red bell; cored/seeded/coarsely cho
1 lb pearl onions, frozen; thawed
6 c chicken, cooked; cubed
1 pk peas, frozen; thawed
1/2 flaky pastry recipe
1 egg wash
In a 2 quart saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add
the nutmeg and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour
over the butter, and with a wooden spoon, stir to blend. Increase the
heat to moderate and slowly add the chicken stock, blending well
after each addition so that there are no lumps. Mix in the cream,
salt and pepper. Gradually bring the mixture to a boil, stirring
constantly. When it has thickened, add the prunes and currants. Cook
over low heat 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan
over moderately low heat. When it foams, add the mushrooms and
peppers. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the onions, increase
the heat to moderate, and saute for 15 minutes, stirring
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the chicken in a large mixing
bowl. Scrape the sauteed vegetables and peas on top, then pour the
prune sauce over all. Toss gently to distribute all the ingredients.
Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed.
Spoon the chicken mixture into a deep 4-5 quart ovenproof casserole.
Roll out the flaky pastry or puff pastry and, using the casserole’s
lid as a guide, with the tip of a sharp knife cut it to fit. Lay the
pastry over the chicken mixture and brush it with the egg wash.
Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve
immediately. Serves 10-12
Early cookbooks reveal that chicken pie was every bit as popular as
roasted turkey for the prinicipal entree at Thanksgiving dinner. Al-
though it’s hard to believe, some familes even served both. This
recipe, with its bizarre inclusion of prunes and currants, nutmeg and
cinnamon, has been developed from a very early recipe. Do not be put
off by the fruit and spices. Their presence is unobtrusive and they
enhance what can be a very pedestrian sauce, turning it into a
magnificent, if mysterious, backdrop for the chicken.