When I started this blog, I told myself I wasn’t going to worry about how many hits I got, whether anyone “followed” my blog, and I certainly was not expecting a Julie/Julia kind of fame. I simply wanted to cook vintage recipes in a way that the modern woman could appreciate and recreate. And my creative writing skills needed a little stretching.
Three months into it, I have a few loyal followers, a few comments, and some amazing friends who encourage me, verbally and with their ready forks. One of them surprised me today with an amazing gift-three beautiful cookbooks full of vintage recipes.
I am truly touched by this gesture-it shocks me that someone actually thought of me in this way, actually! And you should see these cookbooks. I literally drooled and cried at the same time when I got a chance to flip through them. And of course, I had to cook from one of the books… right now… TONIGHT.
I picked Chicken Baked in Rice from “The Good Housekeeper”, published in 1841. It’s my favorite kind of vintage cookbook-with recipes printed in paragraphs, all the ingredients hidden within so you have to read the whole thing to figure out what you need. Plus it’s ending chapters include hints for domestic help, housekeepers, taking care of the sick, and several stories about homeowners and their cooks. Big thanks to my friend Jen for this cookbook-I LOVE IT!
Here’s the recipe in its original form:
Cut a chicken into joins as for a fricassee, season it well with pepper and salt, lay it into a pudding dish lined with slices of ham or bacon, add a pint of veal gravy and an onion finely minced, fill up the dish with boiled rice well pressed and piled as high as the dish will hold, cover with a paste of flour and water and bake one hour in a slow oven. If you have no veal gravy, use water instead, adding a little more ham and seasoning.
Here’s my modern version:
• 10 slices bacon or turkey bacon, cooked
• 2 cans of cooked white meat chicken, 9.75 ounces each or 2 cups of leftover cooked chicken
• 1 package of microwaveable brown rice or boil in a bag brown rice, or 2 cups brown rice, prepared
• ½ jar of any kind of gravy or ½ package of prepared dry mix gravy (I used white biscuit gravy)
• 1 onion, diced
• 2 cups flour
• 1 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 8X11 inch shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line the bottom of the dish with bacon.
Now add a layer of the chicken, then onion, then rice, and pour the gravy over top.
In a medium bowl, mix your flour and water together until it forms a paste. It should not be thick or pliable like a pie crust-you’re looking for a thinner consistency which you can spread. If it seems too thick, add a tablespoon of cold water at a time until you think you’ve got it right. Spread this over the top of the meat and rice. You might not even need all the crust that you mix up-just layer on enough to cover the rice.
Set casserole on a cookie sheet to prevent spills in case it bubbles over. Bake for 30 minutes or until flour layer is golden brown. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
This is a rather heavy dish so a small scoop will fill you up but the bacon and onion really give it a nice flavor. Enjoy!
PS Thanks for the cookbook Jen!!