Written By Culinary Pen on Friday, October 7, 2011 | 12:37:00 PM
This is another recipe that John Thorne's Maine food chronicles inspired me to try in my own kitchen. It's an odd little recipe, but I love pie, sweet or savory. It's simple enough, a mixture of frozen peas (fresh peas get mushy before the pie is done), chicken fat, onions, and a small dash of herbs. All rolled up in your favorite pastry, and then baked. Plus you can make it year round, since you're not tied to fresh pea season. After all, if you DO have fresh, tender peas, there's no sense in messing around when they're so delicious on their own.Since Thorne explained that only frozen peas will produce a pie worth eating, I felt that the quality of the chicken fat would be the most important in producing a superior pea pie. So I clawed out the last little frozen tupperware tub of rendered chicken fat from the back of the freezer. When it heated up, it was still golden, fragrant, and carried a hint of rosemary and garlic.Mix together, secure peas in pie, bake. That's all there is to it. It's a satisfying, unusual dish that reminds me of chicken pot pie without the chicken. After eating it, I began to think you could make it even richer by filling the pie with a cream sauce that would bind all the rolly-poly peas together. But then I had to stop myself, as Thorne repeatedly scolds modern cooking for "not leaving well enough alone" and always having to add extra cream and butter, forgetting to enjoy foods simply and without excessive adornment.