A Tasty Treat, Any Way You Slice It
Rappie pie, or râpure in French, is a well-loved traditional Acadian dish. It’s unique to the region, made from a delicious mix of potatoes and chicken. Although it’s named Rappie pie, don’t be fooled! It’s not a conventional dessert pie because there’s no pastry crust. The “crust” is formed by baking the potato mixture. As a local favourite, you can smell the rappie pie in many household ovens for special occasions, like birthdays, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
The whole idea behind rappie pie is to remove the liquid from the potatoes, then reconstitute the remaining potato pulp with hot broth. The mixture is then poured into a pan and baked. The most popular meat to add is arguably chicken, but you can use whatever meat or seafood you want. Some popular choices are bar clams, corned beef, rabbit and venison. The well-loved dish may sound simple, but the trick is in the seasoning! Whatever seasoning you add to the broth will define the flavour profile of the pie. While everyone has their own distinct family recipe, we’ve put together a basic recipe to give you an idea of how it’s made to make your own at home. Once you’ve made a few, you can start experimenting with your own flavours!
There are 3 ways to make rappie pie, or options to create your potato pulp. The first is the traditional way: grate the potatoes to separate the potato pulp from the liquid. The second way is to use a juicer to facilitate this same process. The third way is to buy a store-bought block of pre-grated potatoes.
- 20 lbs bag of potatoes or 1 store-bought block
- 2 whole chickens, preferably stewing hens
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 heaping tablespoons of salted green onions
- 40 cups water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Butter or non-stick spray to grease the pan
You will also need a large bowl, a very large pot, and a 40x60cm baking pan.
Step 1: The Broth
- Cut up the onions and add them to 40 cups of water
- Add the salted onions, some pepper and salt if needed to the water
- Bring the water to a boil until the chickens are cooked (about an hour)
- Once the chickens are cooked, let them cool and debone them. After, cut the chicken (or selected meat) into bite-sized pieces.
Step 2: Potato Mixture Prep
While your broth boils, prepare the potato mixture using one of the following methods:
- Peel the potatoes
- Grate the potatoes and strain them in a cheesecloth to remove the juice
- Discard the juice and save the potato pulp in a large bowl
- Peel the potatoes
- Run them through a juicer to remove the liquid
- Discard the juices and save the potato pulp in a large bowl
- Use a store-bought block. d’Eon’s Rappie Pie is an excellent choice!
- Place the grated potato pulp or store-bought block into a large bowl
Step 3: Assemble & Bake!
- Gradually add 30 or so cups of boiling broth to the potato pulp. It works best to add about 4 cups of broth at a time, stirring the pulp continuously with a whisk. Note that the rappie pie consistency will be runnier with the more broth you add.
- Pour half of the mixture into a greased pan
- Add the meat pieces to the top of the potato mixture
- Pour the remaining potato mixture onto the top of the chicken in the pan
- Bake the pie in the oven for three hours at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
A note on salted-green onions: they’re cut-up green onions, preserved in salt. They’re a common ingredient in Acadian cooking and can easily be made at home. You can find the recipe here.