While the pie bakes it smells buttery and savory; birthday smells. It’s a special dish, not something one whips up on a weeknight for fun. It’s not fast. While not particularly hard, the recipe has several steps.
That’s what it makes it special and what makes it taste of birthday – it’s trouble. There is love in that chicken pie. My mother’s hands rolling out the pastry – how many times have I watched her do that while she and I stood in the kitchen chatting. I helped or watched her cook while we talked.
1 1/2 - 2 pound chicken
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 to 1/3-cup ice water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
4 boiled eggs
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9x13-inch dish and set aside.
Cook the chicken in enough salted water to cover chicken until tender, but not until meat falls off the bones. Remove chicken from bones, shred into small pieces, and set aside; reserve broth.
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening and add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms a ball. On a lightly floured surface, roll out about half of the dough.
Cut the dough into long strips, about an inch or two wide, to line the sides of the casserole dish.
Put half of the chicken pieces over bottom of pan. Cut half of the stick of butter in small pieces and place the butter over the chicken. Layer the chicken with egg slices and salt and pepper. Top with the rest of the chicken pieces. Pour chicken broth over chicken.
Roll out the remaining dough; cut into strips and put over the top. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and dot the pastry with the butter.
Bake about 20 minutes or until lightly browned.