Delicious Southern Chicken Pastry for a Hearty Meal
Hey there foodies! Are you ready to get your hands dirty and try a new recipe today? As a chef specializing in southern-style cuisine, I am excited to share an easy homemade Chicken Pastry recipe with you. This dish is a southern specialty and has been passed down for generations as a classic comfort food. Whether you’re savoring it on a cozy Sunday afternoon or serving it up as the star of your family dinner, it’s guaranteed to be delicious every single time.
My Chicken Pastry recipe is made with simple ingredients that are likely already in your pantry: chicken, plain flour, milk, shortening, and butter. It’s a one-pot dish that cooks on its own while you go about other business. The result? A creamy, flavorsome and hearty meal that’ll warm up your soul and belly.
So join me as we take a trip down south and explore the flavors of this classic Southern Chicken Pastry recipe that’ll have you coming back for more.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Are you craving some hearty comfort food that’s packed with flavor? Look no further than this Southern Chicken Pastry recipe. Trust me, once you taste this dish, you’ll understand why it is a beloved Southern specialty.
What separates this recipe from other chicken pastry dishes is its old-fashioned preparation. The pastry crust is made with a mixture of shortening and butter, which gives it a flaky texture that melts in your mouth. And the chicken dumplings are cooked to perfection in a rich broth seasoned with black pepper and herbs.
Not only is this recipe an explosion of savory flavors, but it’s also incredibly easy to make. With simple ingredients like plain flour, milk, and a whole chicken, you can whip up this dish in no time.
Plus, if you’re someone who loves versatility in the kitchen, the Southern Chicken Pastry Recipe allows for plenty of customization. You can vary the seasoning to your liking or mix up the dumpling shapes – try cutting them into flat strips or shaping them into drop dumplings.
In conclusion, whether you’re looking for a comforting meal on a chilly night or hosting a gathering with friends and family, this Southern Chicken Pastry dish is the perfect recipe to feed a crowd. So grab your apron and get ready to indulge in some delicious southern-style cuisine!
Here is a list of everything you will need to make this Southern Chicken Pastry recipe. Don’t worry if you don’t already have all of these items in your kitchen, they can easily be found at your local grocery store.
Here are the ingredients:
- 1 whole chicken
- 4 quarts water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 3 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup milk (2% or whole)
That’s all folks, now we can move on to the next step!
The Recipe How-To
Now that we have our ingredients prepared, it’s time to make the southern chicken pastry! This recipe has two main steps: making the pastry dough and preparing the chicken filling. But don’t worry, it’s an easy homemade recipe that anyone can pull off.
Making the Pastry Dough
Step 1: Combining dry ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of plain flour, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 3 tablespoons of baking powder. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Step 2: Cutting in fats
Next, add 1/2 cup of shortening and 1/2 cup of butter to the dry ingredients mixture. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut in the fats until the mixture becomes crumbly like coarse sand.
Step 3: Adding liquid and prepare dough
Slowly pour in 1/2 cup of milk into the mixture while stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula. Stir well until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it becomes smooth and no longer sticky. Return to the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth, and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Preparing Chicken Filling
Step 4: Cooking chicken and making broth
Place a whole chicken (about 3-4 pounds) in a pot with 4 quarts of water. Bring it to boil over high heat, then reduce to medium-low heat to simmer for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from pot and let chicken cool down for several minutes before shredding into small pieces.
Keep the chicken broth in the pot by straining through a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.Tip: Add some chopped carrots, celery, and onions during cooking to infuse more flavor to the broth.
Step 5: Making the chicken filling
Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 3 cups of flour and stir well until it forms a smooth paste or roux. Gradually add the chicken broth (about 8-10 cups) into the roux, whisking constantly to dissolve any lumps in the mixture. Add 2 cups of milk, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper into the mixture and bring it to a boil, stirring frequently until it thickens.
Add the shredded chicken to the pot and stir well to combine with the thickened gravy. Remove from heat.
Assembling and Baking
Step 6: Rolling out dough and cutting into shapes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry dough into thin sheets that are about 1/4 inch thick. Cut them into either long, flat strips or circles using a rolling cutter.
Substitutions and Variations
You don’t have to follow traditional southern-style chicken pastry recipe instructions religiously. Add a little bit of your own thumbprint to the dish, and experiment with substitutes and variations to make it even more delicious.
For starters, instead of using chicken breasts as called for in the recipe, you can use bone-in whole chickens that impart a richer flavor to your dish. You can also substitute chicken broth with vegetable or beef broth, depending on your preference. This works especially well if you want to make it a vegetarian dish.
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, try using gluten-free flour in place of all-purpose flour to cut down on the carbs. This is perfect for those who are sensitive to gluten, and the result will still be as delicious as the real thing.
Another variation you can try is swapping out the pastry dough for puff pastry sheets for easier handling. The puff pastry also adds a bit of flakiness and makes it an even more decadent experience.
Lastly, if you’re short on time or looking for a shortcut, there are pre-made frozen dumplings available in grocery stores that work great in this recipe. Just drop them into the pot when you add the chicken breasts and follow the rest of the instructions as usual.
Don’t be afraid to customize your southern-style chicken pastry recipe according to your preferences. Experiment with different ingredients, seasonings or proportions to make it just right for you!
Serving and Pairing
Now that your delicious southern chicken pastry is ready, it’s time to think about how to serve and pair it for that perfect meal. Personally, I love to serve this southern classic alongside some creamy mashed potatoes and buttery green beans. The combination of flavors is simply irresistible.
But this easy homemade chicken pastry can also be paired with other sides like roasted vegetables or mixed greens salad. When serving, make sure you garnish with some fresh parsley or a sprig of thyme for that extra pop of color and flavor.
If you’re hosting a party or entertaining guests, consider making bite-sized pastries that your guests will love. Cut the pastry into small portions and serve as an appetizer with dipping sauce on the side – this is particularly great when hosting game nights, barbeques or picnics.
Moreover, if you’re looking to take your serving game a notch up, pair your chicken pastry with a crisp white wine or an ice-cold beer. Both have enough bitterness to tone down the flavourful pastry while enhancing flavours in the seasoning.
Overall, whether you’re serving this southern-style chicken pastry as a main course or an appetizer, it promises a heartwarming and satisfying meal that will leave your taste buds begging for more.
Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating
Now, let’s talk about how to make this dish ahead of time, store it properly, and reheat it for maximum deliciousness.
If you plan to serve the Southern Chicken Pastry later, it’s best to cook the chicken and pastry separately. A day or two before serving, cook the chicken as per the recipe and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Prepare the pastry dough as directed, shape it into a ball or disc and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. Then store in the fridge. When ready to make the pastry, roll out the dough, fill with chicken mixture and bake according to the recipe.
Leftovers of Southern Chicken Pastry can be stored for a day or two days if covered tightly with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator. If you want to freeze them, place them safely in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months.
Reheating Southern Chicken Pastry is easy as pie! To reheat homemade chicken dumplings, heat up a small pot over medium heat, add desired quantity of water or chicken stock, drop frozen dumplings into boiling stock or water and let everything boil together until evenly heated through (about 10-15 minutes). Alternatively, you can microwave individual portions of leftover chicken pastry on high for 1-2 minutes or until hot.
Remember that reheating multiple servings at once takes more time – give it ample time to heat evenly through. Do not overcook as this may dry up your pastry too much. Keep an eye on moisture content and add a splash of broth if needed.
Following these simple steps will help you enjoy your homemade Southern Chicken Pastry again and again – without losing any flavor!
Tips for Perfect Results
Now that we have the recipe for a delicious southern-style chicken pastry, let’s make sure we get it right every time. Here are some helpful tips to ensure perfect results:
1. Be precise with your measurements – Baking is science, and just like in science experiments, precision is key. Use accurate measuring cups and spoons to ensure you get the perfect balance of ingredients.
2. Use a combination of shortening and butter – The combination of the two creates the perfect consistency for the dough. The shortening helps make it flaky while butter adds a rich, creamy flavor.
3. Chicken broth is better than water – Instead of using plain water to cook your chicken, use chicken broth instead. It will add an extra layer of flavor to your dish.
4. Make sure your chicken is cooked through – Before adding your dumplings or pastry to the mixture, make sure your chicken is fully cooked. An uncooked piece of chicken can ruin the texture and taste of your dish.
5. Don’t overwork the dough – Too much kneading or handling can make your pastry tough and chewy rather than tender and flaky.
6. Add seasoning to taste – Depending on your personal preference, you can adjust the amount of salt and black pepper in the recipe. Make sure you taste test before serving.
7. Keep an eye on the liquid level – If you find that there isn’t enough liquid in the pot for cooking dumplings or pastry, don’t hesitate to add more broth or water.
8. Let it cool before serving – When your pastry or dumplings are done, let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. This allows them to cool down just enough so that they’re easy to handle but still warm enough to enjoy.
By following these simple tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a perfectly cooked southern-style chicken pastry every time!
Now that you’ve learned how to make this delicious Southern Chicken Pastry Recipe and have read all the instructions, tips, and variations, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions. This section will provide some helpful answers to common queries about this recipe that may have arisen while planning to make it. So, let’s dive into these FAQs together before you give this recipe a try!
What’s the difference between chicken pastry and chicken and dumplings?
In certain areas, a variation of chicken and dumplings called “chicken and pastry” can be found. This version involves wide, flat noodles that are created from biscuit dough. Some people may distinguish between the two dishes due to the difference in noodle shape. Chicken and dumplings typically features small balls of dough instead of flat strips.
What is the difference between dumplings and pastry?
When it comes to cooking methods, pastry and dumplings differ quite a bit. Unlike pastry, which is commonly baked in the oven, dumplings are made out of a thick batter-like dough that is dropped into a pot of boiling water to cook. Once ready, these fluffy dumplings are served piping hot and ready to enjoy.
How do you thicken chicken pastry?
If you’re hoping for a heartier texture in your dumplings, there are a couple of methods to achieve this. One option is to incorporate additional flour into the dough. This will thicken the consistency and give you a more substantial base. Another trick is to mix in some breadcrumbs, which will also help to create a denser texture.
What do you use to thicken chicken and dumplings?
When preparing the base for your chicken and dumplings, it’s important to thicken the soup before adding your dumplings to avoid a watery consistency. Begin by reserving roughly 1/3 cup of the soup liquids in a separate bowl. To thicken the mixture, whisk 2 teaspoons of cornstarch into the reserved liquid until it’s well combined and smooth. Then, reintroduce the mixture back into the soup pot and stir until evenly mixed.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for an easy homemade chicken pastry recipe that will fill your home with the delicious aroma of southern style cuisine, look no further than this incredible chicken pastry recipe. Not only is it rich in flavor, but also very versatile and customizable to your specific tastes. Whether you choose to add vegetables, seasonings or even puff pastry on top, this recipe is sure to impress.
So why not give this recipe a try? With simple instructions, easily accessible ingredients and tips that will make your dish come out perfect every time, making southern chicken pastry has never been easier. Whether you’re serving it for dinner, at a potluck or just something to satisfy your cravings, this southern specialty is sure to become one of your new favorites.
So gather up your ingredients and get ready to indulge in the mouth-watering flavor of this old-fashioned chicken pastry recipe for yourself. And don’t forget to share this delicious recipe with family and friends so they too can enjoy the taste of true southern comfort food.
Southern Chicken Pastry Recipe
- 1 whole hen or 1 whole chicken
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place hen or chicken in a large pot with enough water to cover. (You could also use several chicken breasts instead of whole chicken.).
- Cook on low-medium heat until done. Remove the chicken from the pot. Keep the broth in the pot. You will cook the dumplings in this broth.
- Cool the chicken until you can remove the skin and bones. (I usually shred the chicken, but you can cube it if you wish.).
- Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and shortening with a fork until it resembles crumbs.
- Add milk and mix well.
- Roll out to about 1/8 inch on floured waxed paper or on a floured counter.
- Let set for about 30 minutes while you debone and shred cooked chicken.
- Cut the dough into strips. (I usually use a pizza cutter for this & cut the strips about 1"x2 or 3" wide.).
- Put the chicken and 1/3 cup butter into the broth in the pot.
- Bring the broth to a boil.
- Drop the dough strips into the boiling broth, one at a time.
- Simmer for 30 minutes, then serve in bowls.
- NOTE: I usually double the amount of dumpling dough. My family likes lots of dumplings. I have made this ahead by freezing the cut dumplings on a cookie sheet, then transferring to a zip-lock bag. Freeze the broth with shredded chicken in a separate container. When you're ready to eat them, just heat the broth & chicken to a boil (thaw dumplings while heating broth) and drop in the dumplings & cook according to directions.