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This post is dedicated to all the fabulous food of black origin. Bernice “Lady Bug” Barnes is my daughter’s boyfriend’s mom. Marcus is from North Carolina and his family makes some of the most scrumptious looking dishes I have ever seen. The Barnes family has a huge family reunion each September, where many of these dishes are shared. I asked Marcus what I should make to celebrate the food he grew up with and he said it had to be Chicken Pastry. His mom usually makes this with turkey, but she explained chicken was fine, too. This is her recipe.
Chicken Pastry by Mrs. Barnes
Original recipe from Bernice “Lady Bug” Barnes as told to my daughter, Destiny. Some adjustments were made for my ease of preparation. Mrs. Barnes usually makes this with turkey & she uses self rising flour. Her daughter said she uses all purpose flour, so that’s what I used.
- 1 chicken, cut up (I used 3 chicken breasts & 3 chicken thighs)
- Salt & Pepper (I used very fine pepper)
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup reserved broth
- Chicken bouillon granules or base
- Butter to prepare a thickening slurry (2 TBS melted butter & 1/4 cup flour combined until smooth. Then add 1/4 cup broth & mix well)
- Parsley & fresh cracked pepper for garnish
- Place chicken in a large pot & cover with water. Make sure there is at least 3-4 inches of water above the chicken. Add salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low boil, cover & cook the chicken for about 30-45 minutes.
- Remove cooked chicken and place it on a pan to cool. Turn off the heat to the broth.
- At this point, I strain my broth and return it to the pot. Reserve 1 cup of chicken broth & set aside.
- While the chicken is cooling, sift the flour with a tsp of salt into a large bowl.
- Wearing culinary gloves, make a well in the flour. Pour in a half cup of your reserved chicken broth and begin mixing by hand.
- Continue to add small amounts of broth until a sticky dough is formed. There will be some lumps.
- Form the dough into a ball & place on a floured surface.
- Cover the dough ball with wax paper & roll out to a 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Cut into strips and then cut across to make small rectangles.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Debone your chicken and shred into small pieces. Return the bones & skin to your pot of broth and bring to a simmer. Add 1 TBS of chicken base & 1 TBS of fine pepper. Taste to see if you need to add any salt. If it is too salty, you can add a bit of water. Cover and simmer on very low for 30 more minutes. By then your pastry is ready to remove from the refrigerator. Before you get it out, remove all the bones and skin from the broth with a strainer.
- Return the broth to a low rolling boil.
- Start adding 3-4 pastry pieces at a time to the boiling broth. Continue adding the pastry a bit at a time. Once all the pastry is added, put the shredded chicken in. Reduce heat to a simmer.
- If after a few minutes, the broth is still too thin add the slurry described above.
- Simmer on low for 45 minutes or longer, depending on how tender you like your pastry.
- Serve with fresh cracked pepper & a sprinkle of parsley.