What foods do you turn to when you want, no, need to have jangly nerves soothed; to enjoy the culinary equivalent of a leisurely back rub; to shut out the modern world for a quiet evening at home? A mug of hot cocoa? A big plate of macaroni and cheese? Yes, those might work, but how does a warm chicken pie sound? Better yet, one you don’t have to cook yourself. Like the kind you can bring home from Harrows.
Harrows Chicken Pies is a take-out only shop in the northern suburbs of Boston, which offers a limited menu of chicken pies in various sizes, and a few things that go well with chicken pie, like mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and fruit pie for dessert. All of these things are sold cold for you to heat at home, except… if you give an hour’s notice, Harrows will heat your pie up so it’ll be nice and hot when you arrive. Don’t worry, like take-out Chinese these heated pies will stay hot for a long time.
Chicken pies come with or without vegetables. Without is nothing but silky, creamy-blond homemade chicken gravy, with the distinct flavor of chicken and chicken fat, loaded with large hunks and shreds of white meat chicken, all topped with a browned and flaky crust (no bottom crust with these pies). With vegetables means that chunks of potatoes and a few carrot pieces get added to the mix. While we expected to prefer the pie sans veggies, it turns out that we enjoy the textural contrasts the vegetables offer, and the large amount of good gravy contained in these pies goes very well with potatoes. In fact, we think the extra gravy would be fantastic over a big mound of mashed potatoes. We haven’t tried Harrows’ mashed potatoes so we don’t know if they are the real thing but, if they’re not, we think mashing a few yourself would be worth the modest effort.
Years ago they offered sit-down service, but today there’s not much more to Harrows than a counter and some refrigerator cases. The property, which they own, is no longer shared with a garden center, which moved down the road a few years ago. They’ve opened four additional branches over the last few years, in Medford, Saugus, Tewksbury, and Dedham. They all close at 7:30 P.M. daily.126 Main Street Reading MA 01867 781-944-0410 Harrows Chicken Pies’ Website Harrows Chicken Pies on Facebook