Old-fashioned Curried Chicken

I recently made a hundred-year-old recipe for Curried Chicken. The recipe turned out wonderfully. The crispy chicken is served with rice and a delightful mild curry sauce that has just a hint of sweetness. This recipe is a keeper, and I’m sure that I’ll make it again.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Recipes for Everyday by Janet McKenzie Hill (1919)

This recipe is from a  1919 cookbook titled Recipes for Everyday that was published by Proctor and Gamble. Many of the recipes, including this recipe, call for Crisco shortening which was produced by Proctor and Gamble. At the time, it was considered a new and modern fat. Crisco was first sold in 1911. It was the first shortening made completely from vegetable oil, and was originally made from cottonseed oil. According to the  cookbook’s author:

The careful housewife fully understands that her success in cooking absolutely depends upon the quality of the ingredients she chooses. A variable cooking fat like lard, often having unpleasant odor and flavor, cannot give the pleasing, appetizing results insured by a clean, pure, tasteless , odorless, uniform fat like Crisco.

And, here is the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Curried Chicken

  • Servings: 4 - 5
  • Difficulty: moderate
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1 chicken, cut into pieces

cold water

1/2 cup flour + 3 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup shortening (Lard could be substituted for the shortening.)

1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 large onion, sliced

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1 cup milk

1/2 cup light cream

2 tablespoons currant jelly

1 teaspoon lemon juice

cooked rice

Dip chicken pieces in water, then roll in 1/2 cup of flour to coat. Heat shortening in a frying pan using medium heat. Stir 1/2 teaspoon salt to the melted shortening. Place the coated chicken pieces in frying pan and cook until lightly browned. Turn the chicken to brown all sides.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with foil, then put the pieces of browned chicken on baking sheet and place in oven. Bake until the chicken is completely cooked.

After the chicken is removed from the frying pan, strain the shortening. Return 3 tablespoons of shortening to the frying pan; then reheat using medium heat. (The remainder of the shortening can be discarded or used for another purpose.)  Add sliced onions and stir occasionally; cook until lightly browned. Stir in 3 tablespoons flour, curry powder, paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Continue stirring until hot and bubbly, then gradually add milk and cream while stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Add currant jelly and lemon juice; stir until the jelly is dissolved. Removed from heat and strain. Serve the sauce with the chicken pieces and rice.

Apples are a Housekeeper’s Best Friend

A hundred-years-ago apples were one of the few fruits available during most of year. According to a hundred-year-old magazine article titled “Apples for All:”

After all has been said and done, the apple is the housekeeper’s best friend. Berry time comes and goes, the delicious fall fruits have their fleeting season, but the apple comes and stays.

Good Housekeeping (January, 1919)

Times sure have changed. Now I can get berries and many other fruits any time during the year – but apples are still a favorite. I’m currently enjoying the last apples from the tree in my back yard.

Hundred-Year-Old Pot Roast with Potatoes, Onions and Carrots Recipe

On these cold January days, Pot Roast with Potatoes, Onions, and Carrots is the classic comfort food. I used a hundred-year-old recipe to make this dish, and it was just as tasty now as it was a century ago.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (February, 1917)
Source: Good Housekeeping (February, 1917)

When, I made this dish, I used a chuck roast instead of soup or stewing meat. Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Pot Roast with Potatoes, Onions, and Carrots

  • Servings: 5 - 7
  • Difficulty: easy
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1 pound chuck roast

water

4 cups small potatoes

2 cups carrots, cut into bit-sized chunks

1 cup onions, sliced

2 teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons flour

sprigs of parsley or celery leaves (I used celery leaves.)

Put the chuck roast in a dutch oven with 1 cup water; using high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Turn several times while cooking; add additional water as needed.  Add potatoes, onions, carrots, salt, paprika, and 2 cups water. Cook for an additional 40 minutes. Put meat on a serving platter, then put the potatoes on one side of the meat and the carrots on the other. Put onions in a small bowl, and serve on the side.

Put the flour in a small bowl. While stirring constantly, slowly add 1/4 cup of water to make a smooth paste.

Bring the meat broth back to a boil, then stir in the flour slurry. Stir constantly until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. The gravy may be poured over the meat and vegetables, or served on the side. Garnish with sprigs of parsley or celery leaves.

Old-Fashioned Pearl Barley Soup with Cabbage (Cabbage and Bacon Soup)

Soup is the perfect comfort food on these cold winter days. I recently found a wonderful hundred-year-old recipe for Pearl Barley Soup with Cabbage. The soup was delightful – but the recipe name is misleading. The recipe only calls for two tablespoons of barley – and it is not a predominate ingredient in the soup. This soup is really a hearty, rustic Cabbage and Bacon soup.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: Good Housekeeping (October, 1917)

Since modern pearled barley does not need pre-soaking, I skipped that step. Also, I didn’t think that three green onions were very many, so I used all the green onions in the bunch that I purchased. Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Pearl Barley Soup with Cabbage (Cabbage and Bacon Soup)

  • Servings: 6 - 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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6 cups water

2 tablespoons barley

1/4 pound bacon, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

1 small cabbage (about 1 pound), finely shredded

1 bunch green onions (6 -8 green onions), chopped

1 cup half and half

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Put water in a dutch oven; bring to a boil using high heat, then add barley, bacon, cabbage, and green onions. Return to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 1 hour. Add half and half, salt, and pepper. Heat until steamy hot, then serve.

“Take Good Care of Nature, and She Will Take Good Care of You”

This photo was the February, 1918 issue of Good Housekeeping. The caption beneath the picture says:

This very young old lady of ninety-five did all the work in her garden last year and then put up enough canned goods to supply herself, her grandsons, and her great-grandsons. She is already planning this year’s garden. Her recipe for long life and happiness is, “”Take good care of nature, and she will take good care of you.”

Old-Fashioned Mashed Turnip Recipe

 

Hundred-year-old Christmas menus sometimes included Mashed Turnips as a vegetable side dish, so I was pleased to find a 1918 recipe for Mashed Turnips. This rustic side dish has a delightful earthly, sweet, yet slightly bitter, flavor.

Here’s the original recipe:

Source: The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (1918)

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Mashed Turnip

  • Servings: 3 - 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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6 medium turnips

water

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons butter

Wash and peel turnips; cut into slices or quarters. Put in a saucepan and cover with water; add salt.  Using high heat bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer until turnips are tender (approximately 35 – 45 minutes).  Remove from heat and drain. Mash the cooked turnips, then stir in pepper and butter. Serve immediately.