This 1930’s recipe for Chicken Filled Pancakes is loaded with a delicious chicken pot pie filling. It’s savory, easy, and makes for a lovely meal.
When you hear the word “pancake,” what comes to mind?
A huge stack of fluffy, tender, plate sized cakes topped with a big glob of whipped butter, and drenched in sweet maple syrup? Yeah, me too, but that isn’t the case for everyone.
In Japan, they have dorayaki, which are made up of two small sweet pancakes with red bean paste sandwiched between them. France has the classy sweet or savory filled crêpe (yes, technically a pancake), and cachapas are a traditional Venezuelan and Columbian corn based pancake often filled with cheese. [note]Albala, Ken. Pancake: A Global History. London: Reaktion, 2008.[/note]
I can go on and on, because the variety of pancakes found around the world is immense. So what makes a pancake a pancake?
According to Food Historian Ken Albala, in his 2008 book Pancake: A Global History a pancake is “a flat batter-based cake cooked in a pan or similar vessel, with or without leavening, and made from any starchy base.”
Did you notice he doesn’t mention that all pancakes have to be sweet? While today many of us in the United States consider pancakes to be a sweet breakfast, that wasn’t always the case.
In1933’s The Detroit News Menu Cook Book, I found a recipe for Chicken Filled Pancakes. The original name for these savory pancakes was Flapper Jacks and included instructions for both the pancakes and the meat filling. The 1933 version has a simple filling of chicken and celery smothered in a white gravy.
While that sounded lovely as written, I added a few other ingredients to the filling in order to up the deliciousness factor. The pancakes…I left as is and they worked nicely.
When you make these Chicken Filled Pancakes think of them as a variation on a classic, the chicken pot pie. Instead of that flakey crust, which is delicious yet time-consuming to make properly, you get a fluffy easy to make pancake to wrap up that mouthwatering filling.
So…do these Chicken Filled Pancakes inspire you to come up with your own savory pancake filling? Or do you already eat savory filled pancakes? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
These pancakes should not brown very much on either side when cooked. If they are cooked to the standard golden brown we are accustomed to, they will break when you roll them around the chicken filling. No good!
I call for cheddar cheese to top the filled pancakes with. As you can see in the photos, I used white cheddar. You can use whatever type of cheese you like, but I recommend you use a cheese on the mild side. It will go better with the filling.
Need a great 1930’s dessert to serve after scarfing down these savory pancakes? Check out my Dream Bar recipe, also from The Detroit News Menu Cook Book. They are like mini pecan pie bites and would be a great end to a lovely meal.
Chicken Filled Pancakes
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 small carrot finely chopped carrots (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped celery (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- 6 ounces cooked and shredded chicken (about 1 1/3 cups)
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (plus more for cooking)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 3 to 5 sage leaves torn into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a 9 by 13-inch baking sheet with nonstick spray or grease with butter.
- For the filling, melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, salt, paprika, and pepper. Cook until the veggies have slightly softened, about 6 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Evenly sprinkle the flour over the veggies and cook, stirring often, until the flour turns light brown, about 4 minutes.
- Stirring constantly slowly pour in the milk. Continue to stir, breaking up any large clumps of flour with the back of a spoon, until thickened, about 4 more minutes.
- Stir in the shredded chicken and remove from heat. Cover until you are ready to fill the pancakes.
- For the pancakes, sift the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Add the milk, egg, butter and salt and whisk until smooth.
- Bring a large nonstick skillet to medium-low heat. Pour a heaping 1/2 cup of the batter form a pancake, and spread the batter out to form an 8-inch wide pancake. Repeat to form as many pancakes as you can fit in your pan (I was able to make 2 pancakes at a time in my pan).
- Cook until bubbly, about 2 minutes and flip. Continue to cook until pancake is cooked through and only slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer pancakes to a plate and cover with a damp paper towel and repeat with remaining batter. You should end up with eight pancakes.
- One pancake at a time, evenly spoon 1/8th of the chicken filling down the center of each pancake.
- Roll the pancake around the filling like a tube and place seam side down on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining pancakes and filling.
- Top with shredded cheese and sage leaves. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, about 8 minutes.