Let Lard In To Give Your Chicken Pot Pie A Flavor Boost

Like a hug for your taste buds, many people consider chicken pot pie to be the epitome of comfort food. Consisting of a buttery flaky crust filled with rich gravy, succulent bits of chicken, and crisp winter vegetables, it's no wonder pot pie has endured as a dinnertime staple for thousands of years.

Because most of us like our comfort food to taste just the same as it did when we were kids, people with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mindset may be hesitant to make alterations to their favorite chicken pot pie recipe. However, you're unlikely to be disappointed if a little lard makes its way into your next helping of pot pie.

A semi-solid cooking fat consisting of rendered and clarified (usually pork) fat, lard is common as a replacement for butter or shortening. It can either have a noticeable pork flavor or none at all depending on how its preparer processed it. To avoid a confusing flavor combination, the tasteless version of lard is often included in place of or in addition to butter in the making of sweet pie crusts. However, in the case of chicken pot pie, that additional boost of flavor may be the missing ingredient you never knew your chicken pot pie needed.

Yes, lard, but don't forget the butter

When incorporated into the crust of a chicken pot pie, lard adds much to the dish in terms of both taste and texture. The traces of pork flavor in the lard add a richness and depth of flavor to the crust that wouldn't be possible with butter alone. Similar to adding bacon to your chicken sandwich, it works to up the ante in a meaty flavor.

Lard might be better than butter for making chicken pot pie because lard has a higher water content than other cooking fats. Also, the additional steam lard produces during the baking process lends to a supremely flaky pie crust. However, the perfect pot pie crust doesn't consist of just lard alone! A crust without butter won't have that distinct buttery taste. For that reason, a combination of both butter and lard makes for a perfectly light and airy pot pie with a rich and decadent flavor.