Chicken and Pastry Recipe
photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 4 servings.

1 tablespoon salt
1 whole chicken
1 medium yellow onion, cut in half
2 celery stalks, cut in half
2 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
8 cups cold water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons shortening
⅔ cup cold water
3 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons black pepper

In a large pot, combine salt, chicken, onion, celery, cloves, bay leaf, and 8 cups of cold water, or enough to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook until chicken is tender, approximately 45 minutes or until the leg pulls away from the chicken. Remove chicken, cloves, and bay leaf from the pot, leaving the broth to simmer over low heat.

Skin, debone, and cut chicken into small pieces. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Using a pastry cutter, cut in shortening until dough is crumbly or resembles coarse sand. Add ⅔ cup water and stir until just combined. Pastry will be stiff.

Lightly flour surface and roll out pastry to ⅛-inch thickness. Cut pastry into strips, then into 2-inch squares.

Bring chicken broth back to a rolling boil. Drop pastry squares in, one at a time. Add butter and pepper to the broth. Once all the pastry has been added, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add chicken to broth and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.