Aunt Olive’s receipt* for pressed chicken:

3 (3 ½ -pound) stewing chickens
6 to 8 cups hot water
8 teaspoons (=2 ⅔ tablespoons) salt
1 carrot, quartered
1 cup celery, chopped
12 parsley sprigs
¾ teaspoon savory leaves
1 medium onion

Cut chicken in pieces.  Put in large kettle and add remaining ingredients.  Bring to boil; simmer about 3 hours, until chicken is very tender.
Remove chicken from kettle and strain broth.  Return broth to heat and simmer until reduced to half its measure,  Remove meat from bones; leave it in small pieces.
Add chicken to cooked-down broth; simmer 5 minutes.  Pour into 9 x 5 x 3” loaf pan, cover and weight down to press.  Chill overnight.
To serve, cut in ½ “ slices.

Yield:  Makes 18 slices.

Actually, the aunts, Olive and Mabelle, made this in a 9-by-13-by-3” baking pan.   Triple or quadruple the ingredients. It was popular at family potlucks, especially during the holidays.  Probably have to live on a farm to have that many stewing chickens handy.


*Regarding the Hallock family’s use of “receipt,” rather than “recipe”:  A note written by my grandmother, Kitty Hallock, for her daughter, Olive, which has been used as a page-marker in Aunt Olive’s copy of the mid-thirties edition of  The Boston Cooking School Cookbook.  Kitty, aka Ma, was writing a family-favorite recipe of hers for molasses candy, known in the family as “Puffed Rice Candy.”   In her words “I think perhaps there was butter in the puffed rice candy receipt or a little salt.  I haven’t made it in years; you probably know better than I.”   I do not remember ever hearing either aunt refer to a recipe as anything other than a “receipt.”  (The Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Merritt Farmer has come to be known as The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.) 


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