Last year when we went to Nova Scotia for our summer holidays, we were eager to try rappie pie, an Acadian specialty. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to travel to the Acadian shores, so we had to make do with a frozen version, made by D’Eon’s in West Pubnico, N.S. that we found in a local grocery store. To our surprise and delight, it was very delicious.

Store-bought rappie pie

Store-bought Rappie Pie, From Frozen

This year we vacationed again in Nova Scotia; we loved it so much last year that we ended up going for two weeks this time around, which gave us time to see some of the places we’d missed out on the year before. The first thing we did, of course, was pick up some more of D’Eon’s frozen rappie pie from the local grocery store.

We also had a chance to spend an afternoon in Yarmouth, N.S., and discovered to our delight that the restaurant we’d stopped in at for a mid-day snack served rappie pie.

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Rappie Pie served in Yarmouth, N.S.

Rather surprisingly, we both thought that D’Eon’s Rappie Pie had a more intense chicken flavor than the rappie pie we had at the restaurant.

If you’ve never heard of rappie pie, it’s a traditional Acadian dish that’s made of potatoes and chicken. It has an almost glutinous texture inside, and it’s got a very intense chicken flavor – think about how roast chicken smells when it’s cooking and that’s the way it tastes.

Luckily, we picked up a copy of A Taste of Acadie at a local store in Yarmouth that very same day; it has a recipe for rappie pie, so yesterday Ward decided to give it a try.

While it didn’t turn out looking quite as good as the one we were served in the restaurant – Ward figures he didn’t get as much starch out of the potatoes as he should have – the flavor was definitely there. The bonus? The entire house smelled so delicious the entire time.

Rappie pie

Fresh Out of the Oven

The potatoes also stayed in strands, rather than becoming a more glutinous solid. I know “glutinous solid” doesn’t sound very good, but trust me on this one – it tastes much better than it sounds!

Rappie pieReady to Eat

Interested in making rappie pie? Here’s the recipe we used, adapted from A Taste of Acadie. Next time we try this recipe, we won’t use as much bacon (we found the bacon flavor took away from the intense chicken taste), and we might also order the frozen potato mixture that D’Eon’s sells, as suggested in this FoodTV.ca article.

Rappie Pie

Ingredients:

1 medium-sized chicken

3 large onions, chopped

12 potatoes

salt and pepper

1/2 pd/250 g bacon, cut into small pieces

1/2 tsp-1 tsp dried savory, or to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C.

2. Cut chicken into large pieces. Place in pot with just enough water to completely cover. Add onions and simmer until chicken is tender.

3. Remove chicken from the pot, reserving the broth. Remove meat from the bones. Cut meat into smaller, bite-sized pieces.

4. Grate potatoes. Place grated potatoes in cotton bag and squeeze vigorously to extract all the water. The goal is to get rid of as much starch as possible by squeezing out all the water.

5. Bring the reserved chicken broth to a boil. Scald the grated, de-starched potatoes in an amount of broth equal to approximately 2/3 of the water you extracted from the potatoes. Blend the broth with the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.

6. In heavy pot, sauté half of the bacon. Add half of the potato mixture. Spoon into greased rectangular baking pan. Add the chicken, sprinkle over with savory, then top with remaining potato mixture. Place remaining bacon on top.

7. Bake for 1-1/2 hours, or until top is uniformly brown.

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