A Tasty Treat, Any Way You Slice It
Rappie pie, or rapure in French, is a well-loved traditional Acadian dish. It’s a delicious mix of potatoes and chicken, and it’s unique to the region. It’s not a pie in the conventional sense, as there is no pastry crust. But it is a popular local dish, and in many households, a tradition for special occasions like birthdays 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. This mixture is then poured into a pan and baked. Chicken is arguably the most popular meat added to the pie but you can use whatever meat or seafood you want. Popular choices include bar clams, venison, corned beef and rabbit. Whatever seasoning you add to the broth will define the flavor profile of the pie. Everyone has their own recipe for making rappie pie but the following one should give you a basic idea of how it works. Then you can start experimenting with your own flavors.
There are 3 ways to make rappie pie, the first being the traditional way which is to 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.
- Cut up the onions and add them to the 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 then debone them. Cut up the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces.
- Peel the potatoes
- Grate the potatoes and strain them in a cheesecloth to remove the juice
- Discard the juice and save the potato pulp
- Peel the potatoes
- Run them through a juicer to remove the liquid
- Discard the juices and save the potato pulp
- Use a store-bought block. d’Eon’s Rappie Pie is a good choice.
- Place the grated potato pulp or store-bought block into a large bowl.
- Gradually add 30 or so cups of boiling chicken broth to the potato pulp. It works best to add about 4 cups of broth at a time. Make sure to continually stir the pulp and broth with a whisk. The more broth you add, the runnier your rappie pie will be.
- Pour half of the mixture into a greased pan.
- Add the chicken 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 are cut-up green onions, preserved in salt. They are a common ingredient in Acadian cooking and can easily be made at home. Check out the recipe here.