Old-fashioned Chicken Pot Pie with Baked Dumplings

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie with Baked Dumplings is the perfect comfort food for a cold winter day. I found this delightful hundred-year-old recipe in a promotional cookbook for KC Baking Powder. Chicken pieces smothered in a rich gravy are topped with tender dumplings.

This authentic old-fashioned pot pie recipe calls for cutting a whole chicken into pieces (legs, thighs, breast, etc.), and putting the pieces- including bones and skin – into the pot pie. I had doubts about doing this, but it worked just fine. I also thought that it seemed unusual that the recipe didn’t call for any vegetables – but I really didn’t miss them. The chicken pieces made lovely presentation and for a nice surprise for guests when the crust is opened, and the chicken was very tender and almost fell off the bones.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: The Cook’s Book: KC Baking Powder (1911)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Chicken Pot Pie with Baked Dumplings

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

1 chicken, cut in pieces

water

1/4 – 1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup shortening

3/4 – 1 cup milk

Place chicken pieces in a dutch oven, cover with water, cover pan and bring to a boil using high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is tender (about 45 minutes). Remove from heat and place chicken in a large casserole dish (2 1/2 – 3 quart dish).

Strain the liquid that the chicken was cooked in, and place in a saucepan. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, put 1/4 -1/2 cup flour in a small bowl, and add enough water to make a thick paste.  Stir the flour mixture into the boiling liquid while stirring constantly. Continue cooking until the liquid thickens into the gravy.

(The amount of flour needed is dependent upon how much liquid there is. I used 1/2 cup of flour, and then first stirred half of it into the boiling liquid. When it didn’t thicken it to a gravy-like consistency, I added more of the flour mixture.)

Add the hot gravy to the casserole dish that contains the cooked chicken until it is almost covers the chicken and is about 1 1/2  inches below the top of the dish. Don’t overfill the dish or it will boil over when heated in the oven.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 425° F.  To make the dumplings, put 2 cups flour in a mixing bowl; then stir in the baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture, then add 3/4 cup milk, and stir with a fork to combine. If the mixture is too dry, add additional milk to create a dough similar in consistency to what would be used to make biscuits. Drop by spoonsfuls on top of the chicken and gravy. The top should be  completely covered with the dough. Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake for 25 – 35 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and serve.

38 thoughts on “Old-fashioned Chicken Pot Pie with Baked Dumplings

  1. I’ve read both recipes twice, and can’t find any reference to taking the chicken meat off the bone. Surely they didn’t just toss the pieces into the pot with the bone still in — or do people do that? I’ve only had chicken pot pie where the meat was cooked and cubed before being put in the pot.

    1. Like so many old recipes, there is little detail and the cook is required to interpret the recipe. I read it that they just tossed the pieces into the pot – bones and all. But, others may interpret it differently.

    1. The large piece worked better than I thought they might. When I served it, I spooned out some of the dumpling topping, and then scooped out a piece of chicken. And finally I dipped out some of the gravy. The chicken skin needed to be removed, but the chicken fell of the bones easily. Of course, it’s always good to have a napkin handy. 🙂

  2. I just made this yesterday – different recipe using heavy cream instead of milk, cream of chicken soup, boneless chicken and and using pillsbury biscuits for the topping. I guess it is a pot pie….I told my daughter growing up we would have called this chicken and biscuits. My idea of pot pie is putting everything except the kitchen sink into a pie crust and baking or like the PA dutch – throwing everything into a pot and add large thick noodles. No matter what you call it – very delicious. Who knows one day I may try the old fashioned recipe. And I agree definitely a comfort food! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Your version sounds wonderful. I think that my family also would have called it chicken and biscuits – and like your family we would have thrown lots of vegetables into the mix – carrots, celery, potatoes, onions. . . whatever we had. We obviously are from the same region. 🙂

  3. This is a perfect recipe for me – in fact I might make it tomorrow – I have a number of last seasons whole chickens in the freezer just waiting for this recipe. Bones add piles more flavour and body to a casserole. Wasting nothing. I think I could use my butter instead of the shortening – not authentic but then I don’t have to go shopping before I cook it! Lovely. Thank you! c

    1. Butter works for me. And, I even think that it would be appropriate for the time period to substitute butter. I know that I was surprised that this hundred-year-old recipe called for shortening. Many old recipes call for either butter or lard. Probably the recipe author was trying to make it more “modern” by using shortening.

    1. Thanks for sharing. It’s awesome that the first mention of the butter tart was in a cookbook from 1900 that was published as a fundraiser for a hospital. Community cookbooks are the best. This article makes me want to try making butter tarts. I don’t think that I’ve ever had this Canadian treat.

    1. 🙂 It’s wonderful to hear that I was able to take a photo and write text that would make you hungry. I always struggle with getting photos that look nice.

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