Mrs. Garrett’s Chicken Pies
If you think chicken pot pie is a concoction of cubed carrots and shriveled peas with shreds of tired chicken in a glutinous sauce, encased in a pale and pasty crust … well, you obviously haven’t tried Mrs. Garrett’s authentic Acadian recipe.
FOR THE FILLING:
- 4 tbsp. Crisco oil
- 8 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 (3-lb.) chickens, each cut into 8 pieces
- 3 rib celery, finely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 (4-oz.) cans mushrooms, drained
- 1⁄2 cup chopped scallions
- 1⁄2 cup chopped parsley leaves
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE PASTRY:
- 9 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 3⁄4 cups Crisco shortening
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten to make an egg wash
- For the filling: Heat oil and flour in a heavy pot over medium heat; stir until browned. Add onions and cook until golden. Brown the chicken, then add celery, peppers, and water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.
- Remove chicken and set aside. Add mushrooms, scallions, parsley, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Pick meat from chicken; shred, and add to pot. Remove from heat and set aside.
- For the pastry: Combine 8 cups of the flour, salt, and 1 cup of the shortening. Mix in 3 cups water, 1⁄2 cup at a time, until dough forms. Roll out on a floured surface into a large rectangle. Spread with 1⁄2 cup of the shortening and sprinkle with 2 tbsp. of the flour. Fold dough onto itself in 3 layers, like a letter. Spread ends with remaining shortening, sprinkle with flour, and fold into a square. Wrap in plastic and chill overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375°. Roll out dough and cut into ten 7″ circles. Fill circles with chicken mixture. Brush edges with egg wash. Form fat turnovers. Seal with a fork. Brush with egg wash. Bake until golden, about 30 minutes.