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Log Cabin Chicken Pie


When I was a kid, my favorite cookbook to page through was my mother’s 1950s Pillsbury’s Best of the Bake-Off Collection. I used to make this chicken pie from the cookbook for Yom Tov. I still have the cookbook, and it still says “Yum” in the margin. The person who submitted this recipe claims that her great-great-grandmother served this pie to Abraham Lincoln when he stopped by her log cabin, hence the name. I have tweaked and updated the recipe for the modern kitchen.


Prepare the Crust

1. Set the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. To make the crust, pulse the flour and salt in a food processor for a few seconds to combine. Scatter the pieces of margarine over the flour mixture and pulse about 15 times, until the mixture resembles a coarse yellow meal and no white powdery bits remain. Turn it out into a large mixing bowl and pour in the beaten egg and water. Fold with a rubber spatula until the dough sticks together.
3. Form the dough into a disk and roll it out on a generously floured surface to an 11-inch circle. Be sure to flour the top of the dough thoroughly as well, as it will be sticky. Brush off the excess flour and transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. If the dough sticks, use a bench scraper or knife to ease it off. If it tears, you can fix it in the pan by pressing the torn pieces together, using a little water as glue if needed. Line the crust with aluminum foil and weigh it down with beans or coins (or pie weights, if you have them!). Bake for 25 minutes, then remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare the Filling

1. While the crust is baking, heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onions, celery, and pepper and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables turn brown, about 10 minutes. Make a slurry by whisking the broth with the flour and pour into the pan. Add the salt and pepper and cook until it thickens, about five minutes. Add the chicken, and cook, stirring, until the chicken is just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
2. Pour the hot filling into the hot crust. Mix the bread crumbs with the melted margarine and sprinkle it thickly over the filling. Bake for 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown.