Mrs. Garrett's Chicken Pies

See the RecipeMelanie Acevedo

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.

Mrs. Garrett's Chicken Pies
These meaty, aromatic chicken pies are some of the best we've ever had.
Yield: makes 10

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
  • 12 cup chopped scallions
  • 12 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 34 cups Crisco shortening
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten to make an egg wash

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.