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There is something satisfying when slamming a spoon through a delicate butter crust. The steam pouring out and the initial scalding of your tongue on the gravy. But, in Central PA that was not what I got.

I hail from the land of Greene County, PA, but now I’m in Lancaster County for college, and apparently it’s a whole different world. There’s this trend that chicken pot pie of chicken and dumplings, but I would like to tell everyone that it is not!

There’s a serious debate in my friend group over this, one that has me extremely curious and slightly perturbed. Chicken pot pie. As dumb as it sounds, we need to discuss what this actually is.

Pie is a whole basked dish with fruit, meat, or veggie fillings with a pastry top and bottom. But, not once have I been worried that people were not aware of this…until one night.

My friend and I were on a night prowl for some food, and we stopped at this cute diner. It’s where all the old folks eat, so it just has to taste good. Chicken pot pie was on the special menu, and for once, I was oddly craving it. So I was excited about my food, which is usual, and of course my crust!

But when the waitress delivered my dish, I received chicken noodle soup, or at best, chicken and dumplings. Unsurprisingly, I was expecting a pie, but apparently there’s this—incorrect—belief here in Lancaster County that chicken and noodles is chicken pot pie. My friend, on the other hand, was unfazed by this enormous disappointment. To her, this stew was pot pie, since it was made in  a pot. Somehow, Pennsylvania Dutch people consider soup to be pot pie, just because it’s made in a dang pot. I could name many things made in pots that we don’t call pot pie, so why is this dish?

She thought it was strange for me to write an article about chicken  pot pie, and she isn’t wrong thinking such a deed takes a special kind of person. As as for the question I posed previously, I Googled every question imaginable. “What is chicken pot pie?”, “what do people consider chicken pot pie?”, “does chicken pot pie have a crust?” and so on. I’m sure the FBI agent that’s tracing my search history is having a field day, but I got all the same answers. How to make pot pie. There are all sorts of recipes, like Pillsbury crust, homemade crust, biscuits, and yet nothing about a soup.

But my questions didn’t stop there. As odd as it sounds, I’ve asked people around campus. “What is chicken pot pie to you, and does it have a crust?” Most of the people who agreed that it has a crust are the one’s who don’t hail from the motherland of Central PA. I even questioned a girl from Ohio, and another from New Jersey, and they believed in the importance of the crust.

I honestly hate to say it, but Central PA-ians are wrong. Maybe they’re just confused. So, in order to clear up any confused, I’ll leave a recipe for pot pie.


2 cups diced peeled potatoes

1-3/4 cups sliced carrots

1 cup butter, cubed

2/3 cup chopped onion

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-3/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 teaspoon pepper

3 cups chicken broth

1-1/2 cups whole milk

4 cups cubed cooked chicken

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn

4 sheets refrigerated pie crust


Preheat oven to 450, the pie bakes for 40 minutes and must rest for 35.

Prep: 40 min. Bake: 35 min. + standing  

I went through hundreds (maybe like nine) of recipes, and yet funny enough, they all included a crust. So, I was just wondering if there’s anywhere else that thinks pot pies are crustless, or if it’s just Lancaster County. Let me know so I can yell at you. 

Mary Kirby

Elizabethtown '21

Hi! I’m Mary!
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