The Ingredient That Will Do Wonders For Your Chicken Pot Pie Crust

There is hardly a more comforting recipe than chicken pot pie with its hearty meat and vegetables swimming in a thick pool of gravy. However, ask anyone what makes or breaks a chicken pot pie, and the answer will likely be the gloriously golden and crispy pie crust. And to ensure that flaky exterior and luscious texture, you'll need to add lard. 

Lard has been used as a cooking fat for over 10,000 years and is typically derived from pork where it is rendered to separate the fat from the meat. Once strained, the lard reconstitutes as a viscous, opaque substance that has an enormous variety of functions in cooking. It can be used to roast potatoes and can even be slathered over a roast chicken to result in crispy skin. But another key way lard is used is in baking, and the ways in which lard can help your pie crust are nothing short of astounding. 

Lard creates a tender, flaky crust for your chicken pot pie

That then begs the question, where does one find lard? You may be able to buy it at your local grocery store. However, if you have access to a local butcher, they will very likely have lard on hand. If not, you could render some yourself, or purchase a container online. Keep in mind that leaf lard is best for baking

A great pie crust tends to be a mix of both lard and butter. Lard is easier to work with than butter because it has a higher melting point, but butter brings great flavor. So, doing a ratio of 70% butter to 30% lard will yield the workability and flakiness, while also maintaining that desired savory taste. Also note that lard can sometimes have a bit of a pork flavor and smell to it, which is more a concern if you're making sweet treats. For chicken pot pie, however, this shouldn't be an issue and can even add a more robust meaty taste to your meal.