Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chicken Pastry

My husband is an amazing cook. He is the type who does not follow recipes or measure ingredients, just naturally talented. Well, I have been trying to get approximate measurements for his hearty Chicken Pastry for years. Several friends have requested this recipe and I think I now have it all ready to post.

Let me just explain the difference in pastry and dumplings. The "pastry" in chicken pastry is basically dumplings that have been rolled flat, thin and cut into strips. Dumplings are thicker, dough-like and formed into a ball shape.

My husband is from Pennsylvania and traditionally they make dumplings instead of pastry for this type of stew. However, after tasting my mom's fantastic Chicken Pastry he decided to come up with one all his own using pastry instead of dumplings.

Chicken Pastry

1 Whole Chicken 3 1/2 - 5 lbs (this depends on how much you would like to make)
1 Medium onion, chopped
3 Celery Stalks, chopped (save celery leaves for more flavor)
1 Large carrot, chopped
1 Tsp thyme leaves
2 Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp pepper
1 Bay leaf
1 Clove garlic minced - optional (I have cooked it without the garlic and it is still fantastic)
1/2 box of Anne's frozen flat pastry strips or homemade

Remove and discard giblets from chicken. You can use them if you like, but I usually toss them out. Wash chicken. Place chicken, onion, celery, and carrots in a large stockpot. Add enough water to cover chicken.

Add thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaf and garlic and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil began to simmer it (light boil) for about 45 mins. Give the chicken leg a little pull and if it separates from the meat it is done.

Remove pot from stove and place chicken on a large cutting board to cool.

Remove pastry from freezer. Bring stock back to a boil and add pastry 4-5 at a time (Use about 1/2 of the box of pastry). Remember the pastry will expand.

Boil for about 8-10 mins, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.

Add chicken back to the pot and boil for additional 2 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and cover. Let the stew rest for 30 mins and then serve.

This recipe pairs well with Honey Cornbread Muffins.

*You can substitute rice instead of pastry if you like