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This Chicken Pie Has Legs!
From the Back of the Box
An old recipe is returning to popularity as home cooks discover it in their recipe boxes while looking for something new.
Chicken Leg Pie sounds like a joke to new cooks, but it is a legitimate dish made in many parts of the US for some time, often the rural-most parts of the country on chicken farms. It was likely developed as a different sort of way to use chicken on the farm during lean times.
After fast food became a way of life, the recipe was forgotten until the 1970s, when it enjoyed a resurgence of use. In the 1980s, it seemed to disappear again and is now making a comeback in the 2010s as a novelty and home cookin' dish.
Chicken Leg Pie #1
- 6 Chicken leg quarters, cut up into legs and thighs
- 6 Tbsp Butter
- 4 Slices lean Bacon, diced
- 1 Large Onion, chopped fine
- 1 Clove Garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 1 tsp Thyme
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 Small can button Mushrooms, drained
- 1 Cup White wine or 3/4 Cup rice wine vinegar
- 4 Whole Eggs, hard-boiled and shells removed
- 1 Egg Yolk, raw and 1 Tbsp Half and half for brushing the pastry top
- 1 of your favorite recipes for 1-crust Pie Dough, prepared.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- In a large shallow pan or bowl, lightly flour the separated chicken legs and thighs.
- In a skillet over medium-high temperature, warm 3-4 Tbsp vegetable oil and brown the chicken parts on all sides.
- Add bacon dice, onions, garlic, cloves, 1 bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper, and stir.
- Pour in the drained mushrooms and wine or wine vinegar, reduce burner temperature to low setting and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove the pan from heat and allow cooling for 10 - 15 minutes.
- When noticeably cooler, carefully remove chicken parts and place into a deep-dish pie pan (I prefer glass, but metal is fine. An electric oven can be lowered about 10 degrees F for a glass dish).
- Halve the hard cooked eggs with a sharp knife and arrange them among the chicken pieces. (Some people do not like eggs and chicken in the same dish, so you can leave them out and add another leg and thigh to take up the room, if you wish.)
- Pour the cooking liquid from the skillet over the pie filling.
- If you want to have a more rounded top crust, place a small round, cleaned onion in the center of the pie and serve it or toss it away after the pie is done baking. It will add extra flavor.
- Cover the pie filling with a crust of rolled out pie dough and cut air vents in the top in an attractive pattern.
- Brush pastry with the egg yolk beaten together with the cream.
- Bake 30 minutes or until top crust is brown. Remove from oven, cool somewhat, and serve.
Some varieties of chicken are better for entertainment than for cooking.
Video credit: The Muppet Show, Season 2 Episode 7. Guest starring Edgar Bergen. Uploaded by pantlessass on Sep 19, 2006
Chicken Leg Chunk Pie #2
- 1.5 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 Cups water
- 1 Chicken breast and 1 chicken leg quarter, cut up to make a leg and a thigh (or 2 leg quarters and no breast)
- 1 tsp Peppercorns
- 1 Bay leaf
- 2 Fennel bulbs
- 3 Carrots
- 1 Large white potato
- 1 Sweet onion – Spanish or Vidalia
- 2 Cloves of garlic
- 1/2 Cup packed flat-leafed parsley
- 1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
- 1/2 Stick unsalted butter
- 1/4 Cup all purpose flour
- 6 Bacon or 3 Canadian Bacon slices, chopped
- 2.5 Cups all purpose flour
- 1 TBSP Baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 Cups heavy cream
- 1 Egg yolk, well beaten – save the white for breakfast.
- 1 TBSP whole milk
- Into a large pot or Dutch oven over medium- high heat, pour chicken broth and water, add chicken breast, leg pieces, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Bring up to the boil and reduce heat to low.
- Cover and simmer, until breast is just done with no pink - 10 minutes or longer.
- Remove chicken breast to a bowl.
- Simmer the remaining pot an additional 5 minutes, until leg is done and transfer these pieces to the bowl.
- Allow chicken to cool and pull all meat from the bones in large chunks. Discard all of the skin and bones, and place the meat into a large clean bowl.
- Sieve the pot broth into a container, clean the pot, and return the strained broth to the pot.
- Trim the ferny fennel stalks down to the bulbs and discard the stalks. Cut the bulbs in half along their lengths and thinly slice the bulbs crosswise.
- Cut carrots to 1/2-inch rounds and peel the potato and cut it to 1/2-inch cubes; thinly slice the onion.
- Simmer all the sliced vegetables in the broth until just tender - about 5 minutes a somewhat longer.
- Measure out 2 Cups of the pot broth to make a roux.
- Add back the chunked chicken into the pot.
- Mince the garlic and finely chop the parsley; add both these and the fennel seeds to chicken pot.
- In a heavy saucepan or skillet, melt butter over medium-low burner temperature and stir in the flour to make a roux and then stir for 3 minutes.
- Whisk into the roux, 2 cups of the chicken broth in a steady pour.
- Bring the roux to the boil, all the while whisking, then simmer this sauce 5 minutes.
- Season the sauce with salt/ pepper and pour over the chicken in the pot. Stir gently.
- Spoon the chicken mixture into a 12-inch pie plate.
- Preheat oven to 450°F and proceed to next section.
- Cook chopped bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp.
- Remove bacon to paper towels to drain, but keep 1 Tbsp bacon fat.
- Into a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Add in the cream, bacon bits, and bacon fat. Toss with a fork a dough forms.
- Roll the dough in the bowl to create a ball.
- Make a lightly floured surface on a bread board or similar and roll dough into a 13-inch diameter round.
- Place crust on top of filling and flute or crimp edges.
- In a small bowl, beat egg yolk and milk and brush over the surface of the crust.
- Bake the chicken pie in the center of an oven rack oven until the crust is puffed a bit and golden, about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove and serve.