When I was growing up in the South, I was lucky enough to have lunch one summer afternoon with my Mom and my Great Aunt Edith at the New Perry Hotel in Perry, Georgia. I don't remember what I had for lunch that day, but I do remember it was delicious and it was served with a tall, icy glass of Sweet Tea (of course).
A few years after I got married, my Mom gave me a copy of the New Perry Hotel cookbook. By that time, I was married to my military husband and was in the midst of many moves around the country. I missed the South, I still do. And, flipping through the pages of that cookbook made me close my eyes and remember that lunch. I was a teenager, and probably not thrilled to be sitting at a table with my Mom and Aunt Edith.
Oh, I wish I could go back in time and tell the teenage me to sit up straight, enjoy the moment, and soak in every word that my Mom and Aunt Edith said. I am lucky to enjoy a very close relationship with my Mom, but Aunt Edith passed away before my first daughter was born. Oh, how she hoped and prayed that our prayers to have a child would be answered (they were - three times!) and I really wish she had lived to meet Georgia Grace Marie, who was named after Aunt Edith. Grace was her middle name. Really, could I saddle the child with the name Edith? ;)
So, I am rambling on, and to be honest, the memories make me a little teary-eyed, but in a good way.
That cookbook is a very special book, and in it is a recipe that is a favorite of our family (and probably many other Southern families) - Chicken Pan Pie.
It is delicious, and very, very simple.
3 heaping cups of cooked chicken
1/2 cup butter (I don't use nearly that much!)
3 hard boiled eggs
Arrange chicken in bottom of 2 quart baking dish, and cover with sliced boiled eggs. Dot with butter. Cover with sauce.
1 c. flour
1 c. water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
5 cups chicken stock
In a measuring cup, I mix up the water, and the 1 cup flour, stir it really well with a fork. Throw in the salt and pepper and add it to a boiling pot of the chicken stock. Stir like crazy. It thickens right up!
Pour the sauce over the chicken and eggs. Top with pastry. I use a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust. But, you can make your crust from scratch - it is easier than you think!
Bake at 375 until the pastry is well browned.
My girls really love this dish. Be prepared for it to be a little runny. It is delicious left-over too.
If you are ever driving through Georgia, consider taking a little detour to Perry, Georgia, and visit the New Perry Hotel for a meal. You won't regret it!
Tell me, have you ever eaten there?