Psst! Want Some Chicken Pot Pie?

Posted: March 18th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Ken's Kicken' Chicken, Marketplace, Salem | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments »

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Put on your trench coat and fedora. Drive to Salem on Route 114. If you’re sure you haven’t been followed, turn in between the Hess station and HMA Car Care. Turn left on Franklin, go to the end, and park. Proceed to Ken’s Kicken Chicken and score a large pie with stuffing…

Okay, so it’s not as clandestine as all that, but we were intrigued by the mainly word-of-mouth business Ken Rothwell of Rothwell’s Custom Catering has built up around his chicken pot pies.

Rothwell sold his Salem restaurant, A Taste of Thyme, four years ago and now runs the catering business out of a large industrial kitchen on Franklin Street. A few months ago, frustrated by the quality of available pre-packed chicken pies, his wife challenged him to come up with something better. Pretty soon, his friends were clamoring for them, and word spread from there.

Today, Rothwell is selling 1,000 pies per week out of the catering kitchen and has added a variety of high-quality prepared foods including 15 kinds of soup (the clam chowder is famous among those in the know), shepards’s pie, macaroni and cheese, meatloaf, and chicken broccoli ziti. Cold offerings such as Waldorf chicken salad (delicious), horseradish cheese spread, and hummus are also available, along with several desserts.

But the pies are the stars of the show, or perhaps we should say the heavyweights—the large pie with stuffing weighs five pounds. And we’re happy to report it lives up to the hype. The huge chunks of white-meat chicken are moist, the sauce is rich but not cloying, the vegetables are cooked perfectly (carrots and peas, tender but not mushy), and the stuffing is tasty with great texture. The crust puts it over the top—buttery and delicious.

We bought a large pie with stuffing, which is $16.95 and feeds four to six. Fresh pies take 35 minutes to bake and will keep for five days in the fridge. Frozen pies will keep for several months and take about an hour to bake. The pies are available in small ($8.95 with stuffing, feeds three), without veggies (chicken and stuffing only) and without stuffing (chicken and veggies only).

For now, the pies are not available in stores, and we recommend buying them during the week if you can. The lines are long on weekends, and they sometimes run out. Look for new offerings soon, including a chicken pie with cornbread topping and a buffalo chicken pie.

Ken’s Kicken’ Chicken
7 Franklin St, Salem
(978) 825-0200
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kens-Kicken-Chicken/218158584732

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