Start to Finish: 60 minutes
Unlike traditional chicken pot pie, Pennsylvania chicken pot pie has no crust. Instead, the pastry is cut into squares and is added directly to the filling liquid, creating noodles. When served, it resembles more of a thick, noodle-rich stew than a conventional pie. This recipe, adapted from the Washington Post and Country Living, makes a hearty, warming meal.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 whole chicken, halved
- 2 cups chicken giblets, mix of livers, hearts and gizzards
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose white flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 teaspoon Saffron threads
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups onion, chopped
- 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 cup celery, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, minced
- Ground black pepper
Pastry Noodles Dough
- 2 cups all-purpose white flour
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
In a large stock pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add one chicken half, skin-side down, and cook for two to three minutes, until well-browned.
Transfer the browned chicken to a plate and brown the second half. Transfer that to the plate and toss the giblets in a small mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Brown the giblets until the exteriors are a dark brown, around three minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook until they are fragrant, around two minutes.
Add the chicken stock, saffron and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the pot, along with both chicken halves and any juices on the place. Cover and bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, until the stock is just simmering, and cook for 40 minutes.
Combine the flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, egg and milk to make a dough. Knead the mixture with your hands. Add extra milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if the dough is too dry.
Knead the dough until it is smooth and does not crumble, around five minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into three equal portions. Roll out one piece of dough on a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin.
Roll until the piece is 1/8 inch thick. Cut it into 2 1/2-inch squares. Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of dough.
Assembling and Finishing
Remove the chicken from the stockpot and place it on a plate. Add the potatoes, onions, carrots and thyme to the pot. Cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the dough noodles to the soup and let them cook, with the vegetables, for 15 minutes. The noodles and vegetables will be fork-tender when done.
Separate the chicken meat from the bones and skin. Cut the meat into 1- to 2-inch pieces, and return it to the pot.
Pour the slurry into the stew, stirring gently and continuously, and cook for five minutes, until the stew has thickened. Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the chopped parsley, and turn of the heat. Let the dish rest for five minutes before serving.
Tips and Suggestions
If you are wetting the dough further, do not add more than 8 extra teaspoons of milk. Too much milk will make the dough watery and it will fall apart during cooking.
When first cutting the dough, reuse the scraps to make more noodles. The extra dough can also be thrown out.
If you can't find all-purpose potatoes, use waxy potatoes instead. Do not use starchy potatoes, such as Russets, as these will fall apart during cooking.
The flour used to coat the giblets will of helped the stew thicken. However, if it is not as thick as you’d like, mix 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/2 cup of water, creating a slurry.
Variations and Alternatives
If you don’t have a whole chicken, use a mix of chicken parts instead. Dark-meat only stews will make a richer-tasting stew.
If you do not wish to use giblets, replace them with 2 cups of dark chicken meat, roughly two drumsticks and two thighs.
For chunkier stew, cut your vegetables and chicken meat into 1- to 2-inch pieces.
If you are pressed for time, purchase large, square pieces of fresh pasta and cut them into 2-inch squares to use in place of the pie dough noodles.
Cynthia Au has studied at the Cordon Bleu in Paris and currently works as a chef instructor specializing in food styling. She has worked as a writer and editor with a focus on food and food science since 2007 and regularly teaches both adults and young children about the joys of home cooking.