The alarm clock (also known as the worst sound in the world) went off. The moment I dread each morning was upon me once more- where I am forced to decide whether to hit the snooze button or unveil the quilt that had so perfectly encapsulated my warmth and face the chill that awaits me when my feet hit the floor. The terrible- awful season, also known as winter, was in full effect.
Other than the simple fact that I am solely responsible to get my children to school on time, I pondered other reasons to motivate myself to get out of my warm cocoon. Thus, it was in that defining moment I determined that only a good meal-one with carbs- would combat the flurried fury of North East Ohio and move me into a vertical position. Rather than “rise and shine,” I have found rolling out and caffeinating to be more effective.
Despite the fact that it was the wee hours of the morning, I was diligently in search of something hearty for later on. A casserole, beef stew or soup just wasn’t going to cut it today. I craved authentic comfort to warm me up- a quilt for my belly, so to speak. There was only one recipe that came to mind. And it fit the bill perfectly.
German Chicken Pot Pie. This dish takes me back to my childhood- sitting in my Grandmother’s kitchen. There was nothing like Grandma’s chicken pot pie (or Grandma’s kitchen). The dictionary has yet to create an adjective worthy to describe this dish, but I will do my best. Traditionally, chicken pot pie is made with a chicken and vegetable filling inside a flaky pie crust. But not in my Grandma’s kitchen.
My German Grandmother’s chicken pot pie was simply made with chicken and thin, dumpling-like squares in a heavenly broth. Really- the broth is heavenly as it is made with the holy trinity of vegetables (also known as the Mira qua)- carrots, onion and celery. Ever wondered what liquid gold looks like? Well, here you go! I realize this recipe highly resembles chicken and dumplings, but my Grandma calls it pot pie- and you don’t disagree with Grandma!
I promise this recipe will completely change your definition and your standards of chicken pot pie. Even though I have her recipe, I have yet to exactly duplicate hers. It must be the extra pinch of love-a key ingredient that belongs exclusively to Grandma’s. But that won’t discourage me from making it to soothe my cravings for comfort and nostalgia.
My Grandmother told me the secret to any flavorful broth is to use the whole chicken. We’re an equal opportunity kitchen and we’re not leaving anything out- it’s the combination of the white meat, dark meat, bones and skin- working in harmony that produces a richly satisfying stock. And this recipe is no exception to the rule of flavor! It almost makes me look at boneless, skinless chicken and ask, “what’s the point?”
German Chicken Pot Pie
For the Chicken…
1 Whole Chicken
1 Whole Large Onion, Peeled
3 Stalks of Celery
3 Large Carrots, Peeled
2 Cartons of Good Chicken Stock
1 Tablespoon Chicken Bouillon Granules
1 Teaspoon Pepper
Combine all ingredients into a large kettle. Cook until chicken juices run clear, about 1-1/2 hours. Remove chicken and set aside to cool. Debone and cut into chunks. Strain out the vegetables, reserving the heavenly chicken stock, also known as liquid gold.
For the Pot Pie…
2 Cups Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons Butter, Softened
2 Eggs + Milk to Measure 3/4 Cup
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry cutter or fork. Make a well in the flour and add the egg and milk mixture inside the well. Combine to form soft dough. Roll dough out to a 1/4 inch thick rectangle on a well-floured surface. Let the dough rest for one hour. In the meantime, bring the reserved stock back to a boil. Cut the dough into 1- 1 1/2 Inch squares. Drop the dough squares into boiling stock, stirring constantly. Add the shredded chicken into the pot and heat through. Serve on a table covered with a floral 70’s plastic table cloth.
It’s a one of a kind recipe from a one of a kind kitchen.
The Humble Homemaker