Getting baby chicks was always an exciting part of the farm year for me. Mom had to order them and bring them home in cardboard crates. She usually ordered at least 200 baby chicks or more, some pullets and others for butchering; the majority of those chickens ended up on our table, but pullets were going to replace older chickens culled out from the flock last fall. The baby chicks were moved to the brooder house, a really small wooden building Dad built. The first week they lived under the brooder stove, a conical-shaped aluminum device that radiated heat underneath its cone. A corrugated cardboard perimeter was also set up for those first days until the chicks began to get their feathers.
As they grew, they weren’t as cute which is a good thing because so many were going to end up on our dinner table. Early summer daily routine was chicken for dinner, so as were doing chickens for our meal we were also putting up chickens for the freezer. Mostly Mom pan-fried chicken and finished it in the oven. It was understood that I, as the youngest, always got a leg and the gizzard. I don’t know what pieces were the privilege of my sisters, but I still like a fried chicken leg and the gizzard.
Here’s a clipping in the style of the Drovers Telegram so I’m assuming that’s the source. Mom didn’t really do casseroles, so I’m thinking she collected this one as merely “interesting”.
Her Fried Chicken
Dear Hope: Since we are having a run on foreign-type recipes I thought I would send in my way of serving fried chicken, which guests often think must be some special Mexican or Italian recipe, though I developed it myself, just combining parts of other recipes that I liked.
First, I season flour not only with salt and pepper but with ginger, and shake the pieces of the fryer in this flour. If I have a clove of garlic on hand, I put it into the fat to season; otherwise I also add a little garlic powder to the seasoned flour. Then I fry the chicken in the fat until it is tender. Meanwhile I cook some rice and season it with salt and a little curry powder. Than I put the rice in a casserole and arrange the fried chicken over it. At this time of year when the garden vegetables are so young and tender, I sometimes cook some small onions and carrots and arrange them on top of the rice, too. Then I sprinkle the chicken with paprika, and set the casserole in a moderate oven till good and hot and I am ready to serve. I make milk gravy with part of the fat from the frying, and pass this with the casserole. A little parsley on top of the casserole adds a bright bit of color, if you have it handy. My family really likes this way of serving fried chicken. Annabella, Illinois.