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 havent 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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