RICHMOND, Va. --Take a leap into the past with this vintage recipe from Princess Pamela’s Soul Food Cookbook. Elizabeth Madden, of Mixes Vintage prepares a chicken pot pie with a soda biscuit crust. For more information on Elzibeth Madden and her vintage recipes, visit her website.
Soda Biscuits (for crust)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
2 tablespoon lard or 3 tablespoons of butter or ghee
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
Preheat oven 450°. Sift 2 cups of flour with the cream of tartar and salt into a bowl. Add the lard or butter and mix to combine. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk. Slowly, add it to the flour mixture. The dough will be soft and very light. Place on the counter. Use more flour if the dough is too wet. I didn’t need to use more than the 1/4 cup.
With your hand, gently stretch it out until it’s 1-inch thick. Cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter. Place on the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Made 9 biscuits. Used a 2.5-inch cutter
Chicken Pot Pie
To modernize this recipe, I added carrots, fennels and peas for a well-rounded dish. To make the stock, I used an onion and carrot as Princess Pamela suggested, but added one stalk of lemongrass for a citrusy note. If you don’t have time to make stock, use store-bought chicken stock.
4 lb. whole chicken
1 stalk lemon grass, outer layers removed
1 bay leaf celery leaves
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cups broth (use the broth made with the chicken or store bought)
1/2 cup whole milk
4 carrots, peeled and sliced or roughly 1 cup
1 cup fennel bulb, chopped
1/2 cup green peas Salt and pepper
Soda biscuit dough
Place the chicken in a large Dutch oven. Add water to cover the chicken. Add lemon grass, the bay leaf, celery leaves, onions and carrots. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked, which will take approximately 30-35 minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken from liquid, and place it on a cutting board until cool enough to handle. Place the broth in a container and place in the freezer for future uses. Make sure to save 1 cup for the pie.
Preheat oven to 450° Cut the chicken into big chunks and place in a casserole or deep pie dish. Add the carrots, fennel and peas, and mix with the chicken. Make the gravy by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and mix to incorporate. Whisk into the broth slowly. Add the milk. The mixture should be smooth and thick. Pour the gravy over the chicken. Season to taste. Roll the biscuit dough to 1/8-inch thick. Top over the chicken. Make slashes on the top for steam to escape. Bake for 15-17 minutes.