From Jessica Patterson
You can make variations by substituting seafood or pork for the chicken.
- 1 whole chicken, cut into large pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 10 lb. russet potatoes, or new white potatoes
- 1/2 sweet onion, like Walla Walla, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Have the following at the ready: a potato peeler, two box graters, cheesecloth, several extra basins or bowls, and an extra set of hands or two.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Put the chicken into a large pot with cold water to cover, and bring it to a boil. Add the chopped onion, salt and pepper. Simmer the chicken until it’s tender, about 2 hours. Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool enough to handle, then pull the meat from the bones into bite-sized pieces. Strain the onions from the broth and reserve both.
Peel the potatoes, putting them into a bowl of cold water as they’re peeled.
Grate the potatoes, using the shredding side of a box grater. (Note: as potato oxidizes, it turns pink. Speed is essential at this part of the process – you don’t want the potatoes to turn brown.) The potatoes will be mushy and half liquid. Squeeze all of the liquid out of the potato through cheesecloth, until they’re quite dry. Measure and make note of the amount of liquid you remove from the potatoes.
Bring the chicken broth back to a boil. Add as much broth to the potatoes as the amount of liquid you squeezed out. Blend the broth and potatoes with a hand-held mixer for two minutes, or stir them until they’re thoroughly mixed. Salt and pepper to taste.
Butter a deep 9″x 12” foil baking dish liberally. Spread half the potatoes on the bottom of the pan followed by a layer of the chicken topped with the minced sweet onion. Cover with the other half of the potatoes. Dot dollops of butter over the top. Bake the rappie pie for 1-1/2 hours, covered for the first hour. Broil it for the last 4 to 5 minutes for a beautiful browned top. Serve hot with vegetables and/or a green salad. Feeds lots of people, like 6 or 8, depending on portion size.