Chicken Pot Pie (17 Th Century)

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.


If one were to research the foods of the early 16th - 18th centuries, one would find that fruits, preserves, and other things not thought of today as additives to a dish were used profusly.

One must take into account that most foods of those times were one dish meals cooked over an open fire or in front of a hearth… the simpler the better.

Pies ( meat and fruit ), stews, chowders , ragouts, etc. were the norm.
We today forget the simplicity and elegence of old recipes.

This one you give here is a very good modern adaptation of an old recipe.

I’ll take your comments as somewhat complimentary Shadows.

Thanks for the historical reference.


Glad to see you are accessing some of the same resources I have .

You are most welcome and it was a compliment… good research!

This is what we should be about… exchange not in-fighting…

Everyone thinks I am a nut because I like sources… but sources can be a great thing…If you have one source to site then that is a start to the origin of where the food(s) came from and from there one can find their way to many gastronmic wonders…

And in my opinon that is why we are all here on this site…

If you only have your great Aunt Bettsie as a source , so be it it is a starting point.

Every recipe is different and subject to local tastes, but all recipes have a begining source and that is my quest… find the 1st!


I couldn’t agree more! We are certainly a unique group that enjoy our recipes and sharing them…and that is what we are all about here!

Shadows, I don’t think anyone thinks you’re a nut because you like to work away at recipe origins! I certainly don’t think that about you at all. You have a unique hobby\interest in sourcing recipes, and you are passionate about your hobby\interest. It is unique, but no more or less unique than people tracing their family history, using geneology software and\or internet sites! Both hobbies are respectable interests, and I don’t think anyone here knocks you or harbors ill feelings toward you because of your passion in finding food origins.

From viewing your posts, I can see you take sourcing recipes very seriously, and you appear to have a great understanding of recipes in the historical sense. You deserve to be commended for pursuing your hobby\interest to the degree that you do! Many folks have hobbies, but I think it would be a reasonable statement to say that many hobbiests don’t pursue their hobby to a level of superior understanding, and a willingness to teach others. Rather hobbies can become simply a venu to pass time, enjoyably.

I have tons of recipes, but most are without originating source, or noted as to how I came into possession. But, while on my constant hunt for new recipes, and finding any that have historical info., I will be sure to incude it when posting here at RSN.

We all benefit when we all work together and share with one another. There is no reason why we all can’t co-exist amicably in sharing our recipe treasures and interacting with one another, here at RSN. Old members, new members & guests make this site what it is … the number 1 site on the recipe curcuit!

Thank you again for your posted compliment, and also for the historical info that you shared regarding original preparation methods and the modern adaptation of same. Ever consider writing a book on the historical themes and methodolgy of food preparation? If not, then perhaps you should!


The book is already a work in progress, I am editing it for the 10th time, it is a never ending labour of love!