09/1/08

September Recipe of the month

Stewed Chicken & Pie Bread

It seems that as long as there have been folks on Hatteras Island on The Outer Banks of North Carolina, there’s been stewed chicken and pie bread. A local favorite for decades, this haphazard recipe has been passed down through generations of local families for its easy, no frills ingredients, and flexibility. “Pie bread’s” more common moniker is dumplings, and this large one pot meal is an easy and filling way to feed a big group, and a perfect comfort food for cool fall beach days.
In the old days, if chicken was scarce, local cooks could substitute chicken with a number of varying proteins, like oysters which are equally tasty, and the dish would come out just as good.
Here’s the basic recipe, but don’t be afraid to tweak it to your taste – chances are, not two families’ pie bread recipe is quite the same.
Stewed Chicken & Pie Bread:
2 fryer chickens
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chicken soup base or bouillon cubes
1 tsp. pepper
2 hard-boiled eggs
Water
Cornstarch and water to thicken

Place chicken in stewing pot with salt, soup base, and pepper. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Add grated hard-boiled egg, thicken with cornstarch, and simmer for 20 minutes, adding pie bread (below) for the last 10 – 15 minutes.

Pie Bread:
3 cups un-sifted flour
½ tsp. salt
½ cup shortening
2/3 – 1 cup water (or milk for softer dumplings)

Cut shortening into salt and flour mixture. Add 2/3 to 1 cup cold water to ingredients and mix well to make a dough stiff enough to roll. Place dough on floured surface and roll into a thin sheet and cut into strips.

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