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Category Archives: Poultry

Scalloped Chicken

When you raise chickens on the farm, there comes a time when the old hen just isn’t a very good “layer” and they need to be culled out of the flock. This happened in the fall, and if the unfortunate hen happened to be roosting in a low hanging branch of our trees, chances are their time was up.  A load of the culled hens could be sold locally, but one of them would be a good candidate for this dish. Now they had a reputation for being a “tough old bird” and 2 1/2 hours may or may not be enough time for the meat to fall off the bones.

This recipe likely came from the Grass & Grain newspaper, submitted by some farm wife in very honest and practical words. Frugal farm families made use of every edible part of a chicken in times past, so melting 1 cup of the chicken fat as well as grinding up the skin and adding it to the sauce is not too surprising in the directions.  Somehow I think the Weight Watchers points for this dish are off the chart.  I’m not sure how many servings are in it, but I’ll bet it would serve our family of nine easily.


Scalloped Chicken

1.  Put a fat, 5-pound hen in a large pot with a carrot, a sliced onion, 2 teaspoons salt and 2 quarts boiling water. Cook slowly 2 1/2 hours or until meat begins to leave bones.  Cool in its own liquid.  When cool, remove meat from bones and separate skin.  Grind skin in meat chopper and cook giblets in salted water until tender.

2.  While hen is cooking, make stuffing.  Crumble 1 1/2 loaves 2-day-old bread after removing crusts.  Melt 1/2 cup butter in heavy skillet.  Chop 6 sprigs parsley, 6 green onions (or 1 medium onion) and 2 large pieces celery with their tops.  Cook vegetables in melted butter over low heat for 5 minutes.  Then mix into bread crumbs lightly with fork to keep dressing fluffy.  Grind cooked giblets and mix in stuffing.  Add 1 teaspoon salt, white pepper to taste and 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning.  Add 6 tablespoons of chicken broth.

3. To make the sauce, skim  fat off top of chicken broth and melt 1 cup of it in large saucepan.  Add butter if you do not have 1 cup chicken fat.  Heat 4 cups chicken broth and 1 cup milk together, but do not boil.  Stir 1 cup sifted flour into melted fat until smooth.l  Add broth and milk mixture gradually, stirring constantly.  When cooked, beat 4 eggs slightly and mix in a little of the sauce.  Then combine sauce and eggs and cook over low heat about 3 or 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove and add chicken skin.

4.  Grease 1 large or 2 smaller casseroles.  Put stuffing into bottom.  Over it pour half the sauce.  Cut up chicken meat into small pieces.  Place meat on top of stuffing.  Add remaining sauce.  Combine 1 cup dry bread crumbs with 4 tablespoons melted butter.  Sprinkle on top.  Place casserole in moderate oven (375°) and bake 20 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown and chicken is hot.  This is excellent for church dinners or large family get-togethers. — Mrs. George S. Jost, Hillsboro.




Guetta (pronounced “Goo-tah”) was served for breakfast during the winter until we ran out.  Guetta is made by first boiling off the really bony pieces of beef (or pork, sometimes) like the neck and organ meats, grinding the meat and returning it to the “soup”, then thickening the mixture with oatmeal.  It was stored in 3 gallon or 5 gallon stone crocks and kept in the cellar.  Early in the morning Mom would go to the cellar and scoop out a frying pan full of Guetta, put it on the gas burning stove to warm and usually get a yummy crust on the bottom of the pan.  I usually ate a serving of it over a slice of home-made white bread along with a glass of fresh milk.  I always loved fresh warm milk almost straight from the cow.  (When I tell people that they are usually like “Ewwww”, but I don’t care. I like it).

Since Mom spoke broken English (term used in the day for someone whose second language was English), the “r” at the end of a normal word wasn’t often pronounced.  Think “but-ta” for “butter”.  I assumed that what Mom was saying was actually “gutter”.  Now, telling your friends you had “gutter” for breakfast just wouldn’t do.  My sister said to refer to it as “head-cheese”.  I can’t say that sounded particularly more refined, but probably better than “gutter”.

My best friend, Wilma, came from north central Kansas in a German Lutheran community.  When I described “Guetta” to her, she knew what I meant.  “We call it ‘Knip’ and we eat it with syrup on top,” she said.  Eventually I read something in a magazine about something in Philadelphia that they call “Scrapple”.  I don’t think I ever read this clipping in Mom’s cookbook referring to Scrapple, but here it is.  I think Mom thought it was interesting that it could be made with chicken.


Someone was asking about scrapple, and I guess most folks think of it as being a cornmeal much with bits of pork or cracklings in it, and that is a very good kind; but I also make it with chicken. When we freeze our chickens, we put up some packages of just necks and backs, to use for soup, sandwich meat, etc.

Sometimes I cook up a package of these bony parts, save and strain the broth and add enough water, if needed, to make the amount of mush I want to make.  I take the meat from the bones, discarding skin, and set aside  Then I make the must and cook for about 15 minutes, than add the chicken bits (you can grind them in a food chopper if you prefer), and season well with salt, pepper, and whatever you like, and cook 15 minutes longer.

Then pour into a loaf pan and cool.  Place in  refrigerator over night, or at least for several hours.  We like it for breakfast.  Slice in half-inch slices and fry brown in hot fat.  Serve with butter and syrup.  If you happen to have some chicken fat to fry it in, that is fine, but most any good sweet fat will do; pork or beef or vegetable oil.

Hmmmmm….any good sweet fat…. pork fat rendered is “lard”, from beef fat rendered is “tallow”….vegetable oil……what would be a fat that isn’t “sweet”…..and how would it be classified…bitter?….sour?….hmmmm

Her Fried Chicken

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.

Chicken Salad

Yum!  I just had chicken salad for lunch.  This article is more like a discussion about it.  This lady was making a lot of chicken salad in her batches.  Also, I find it interesting that the dressing is called just “boiled dressing”.  Probably you wouldn’t actually buy mayonnaise if you were a thrifty person, and possibly “Miracle Whip” wasn’t on the market yet.

Then another subject that was brought up not too long ago was chicken salad, I believe.  It you really want to make a little chicken go a long way, as for a church supper or some occasion when chicken is scarce or high, you can add a good many ingredients and still call it chicken salad.

For Instance:  Boil a six pound chicken till tender, cut the meat into small pieces,

Measure and use an equal amount each of diced boiled potatoes and celery
6  hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1 large onion, cut fine
3 cupfuls of sweet pickles, cut fine, and
4 pimentos cut fine.

Fold some whipped cream into your favorite boiled salad dressing and mix with the chicken mixture.  This is all the better if it is kept in the refrigerator a couple of hours before serving.  Used this way, one six-ounce fowl will make 36 servings.

But if you are not aiming to make the chicken go as far as all that, I like to use with the meat from a six pound chicken:

2 cups of cooked peas
2 cups diced celery, and
1 cup nut meats

I like a boiled dressing with chicken salad, and prefer to make my own, and then mix it with some whipped cream.  You can grind the chicken through a coarse plate, but I prefer just to cut it up pretty small.

I make the dressing of

2 eggs or 4 egg yolks beaten with
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
6 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup of liquor from cooking the chicken, and
1 tablespoonful flour,

Cooked together till done.

And then sometimes I just mix the chicken meat with celery, half as much celery as meat, that is, if I take 2 cups diced celery and 1 cup nut chopped celery, and season with salt and mix with the salad dressing.  (I think there’s a typo here, don’t you?  I think they mean 2 cups diced chicken to 1 cup chopped celery)

Once I made some very pretty salads for an afternoon party by using this sort of chicken salad and cranberry sauce.  I sliced the sauce and made sort of a sandwich, one slice under and one slice over the chicken salad.  at that time I just used the sauce plain but I thought afterward that you could cut it into hearts for Valentine’s day or into turkey shapes for Thanksgiving, or just use a scalloped cooky cutter for the fun of it.

Here’s how I make chicken salad.  We baked a whole chicken earlier in the week and ate the legs, thighs and wings mostly.  It was a good size chicken, but probably not 6 pounds.  We had all the white meat left over.  I cut that up into cubes.  I added about 1/2 cup chopped celery and 3/4 cup of grapes. I had about a half cup of English Walnuts begging to be used, so I added them to the salad. I put in about 1/4 cup mayonnaise and half a container (3 oz. maybe) of plain Greek yogurt.  I sprinkled salt, pepper and sugar over it the way I do for tuna salad and potato salad generally. Mixed it all up and chilled.  As I said in the beginning….Yum!

Escalloped Chicken

Well, what do you know?  A recipe that’s not a dessert!  I don’t remember Mom ever making something like this.  I think she would have said that Dad didn’t like casseroles.  I imagine that Elva submitted several recipes to this column, but this is the one Mom decided to clip.  I like Elva’s comments at the end of her recipe submission.  I think she would “get” what I’m doing here with this blog.

Escalloped Chicken

Cut cooked chicken into cubes to make 3 or more cups.  Arrange chicken in layers on bottom of three-quart casserole or 13 by 9 1/2 inch loaf pan. Combine 6 cups cubed bread, 3/4 cup melted butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons sage, 1/4 cup cream or broth, 3/4 teaspoon salt, few grains pepper, 2 tablespoons chopped onion if desired.  Cover the cubed chicken with this dressing.  Make gravy from 1/4 cup chicken fat, 1/2 cup flour and 4 cups chicken broth.  Pour gravy over chicken and bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

I hope these recipes will help others. I do like the recipes in the column.  There are always new versions, and the old ones are even more interesting and hard to find.  Thanks a lot to the rest of you for all your helps. — Elva Bee from Indiana.

And here it is if you want to copy and paste the recipe:

Escalloped Chicken
by Elva Bee, Indiana

3 cups or more cubed chicken.
6 cups cubed bread
3/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons sage
1/4 cup cream or broth
3/4 teaspoon salt
few grains pepper
2 tablespoons chopped onion, if desired
1/4 cup chicken fat
1/2 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth

Arrange chicken in layers on bottom of three-quart casserole or 13 by 9 1/2 inch loaf pan. Combine bread, butter, sage, cream or broth, salt, pepper and chopped onion. Cover the chicken with this dressing.  Make gravy from chicken fat, flour and broth.  Pour gravy over chicken and bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees.

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