What IS Chicken Pot Pie?


6977293-happy-cartoon-chicken-with-raised-armsA Quaker Woman’s Cookbook: The Domestic Cookery of Elizabeth Ellicott Lea edited by William Woys Weaver (2004) is a collection of recipes and household hints provided in the 1846 edition of her book Domestic Cookery.

Described is a chicken pot pie, which includes a few sliced potatoes, chicken and pie crust covered in water and cooked in a dutch oven also known at that time as a “pot oven”.This could be considered the forerunner of our chicken pot pie method which begins by stewing a chicken and reserving the broth to cook the pot pie dough.

According to William Woys Weaver, author of Encyclopedia of Food and Culture (New York, 2003) underchicken-and-dumplings-done1 the entry “Pie” in vol.3 page 70, pot pie in Pennsylvania was not a true pie, but instead a stew or fricassee
with dumplings known as Botboi. These Pennsylvania Dutch dumplings are a large square dumpling more resembling a noodle. This version seems to have migrated south in the eighteenth century retaining the name chicken and dumplings. It is what you find at the Salem Chicken Pot Pie Dinner.

 

 

pieOther recipes include a recipe for chicken pie, which is simply stewed chicken and gravy baked in a a pie crust.

dumpling

 

Chicken and dumplings in the northern region of the country are most often known as a light, fluffy biscuit simmered on top of a stew. Elizabeth Ellicott Lea provides recipes for them as well under “drop dumplings”. This is what you will have if you make dumplings as described on a box of Bisquick of Jiffy baking mix.