Old fashioned recipe: Fricassee of Chickens with Mushrooms

Procure 2 fat, plump chickens, and after they have been drawn, singe them over the flame of a charcoal fire, and then cut up into small members or joints in the following manner: First remove the wings at the second joint, then take hold of the chicken with the left hand, and with a sharp knife make 2 parallel cuts lengthwise on the back about an inch and a half apart, so as partly to detach or at least to mark out where the legs and wings are to be removed; the chicken must next be placed upon its side on the table, and after the leg and fillet (with the pinion left on the upper side) have been cut, the same must be repeated on the other, and the thigh-bones must be removed. Then separate the back and breast, trim these without waste and cut the back across into 2 pieces; steep the whole in a pan containing clear tepid water for about 10 minutes, frequently squeezing the pieces with the hand too extract all the blood. Next strew the bottom of a stewpan with thinly-sliced carrot, onion and a little c elery, 3 cloves, 12 pepper-corns, a blade of mace and a garnished faggot of parsley; place the pieces of chicken in close and neat order upon the vegetables, etc., moisten with about a quart of boiling broth from the stockpot, or failing this, with water; cover with the lid and set the whole to boil gently by the side of the stove-fire for about half an hour, when the chicken will be done. They must then be strained in a sieve and their broth reserved in a basin; next immerse the pieces of chicken in cold water, wash and drain them upon a napkin, and afterward trim them neatly and place them in a stewpan in the larder. Then put 2 ounces of fresh butter to melt in a stewpan; to this add 2 tablespoonfuls of flour, and stir the mixture over the fire for 3 minutes without allowing it to acquire any color; it should then be removed from the stove, and the chicken broth being poured into it the whole must be thoroughly mixed together into a smooth sauce; throw in some trimmings of mushrooms and stir the sauce over the fire until it boils, then set it by the side to continue gently boiling to throw up the butter and scum. When the sauce has boiled half an hour skim it, reduce it by further boiling to its proper consistency, and then incorporate with it a leason of 4 yolks of eggs mixed with a pat of butter and a little cream; set the leason in the sauce by stirring it over the fire until it nearly boils, then pass it through a tammy into the stewpan containing the pieces of chicken, and add thereto half a pottle of prepared button-mushrooms. When about to send to table warm the fricassee without allowing it to boil, and dish it up as follows: First put the pieces of the back in the centre of the dish, place the legs at the angles, the bones pointed inwardly; next place the fillets upon these, and then set the pieces of breast on the top; pour the sauce over the entree, and place the mushrooms about the fricassee in groups; surround the entree with eight or ten glazed croutons of fried bread cut in the shape of hearts, and serve.

Note.--Truffles cut into scallops, or shaped in the form of olives, crayfish-tails, button-onions, or artichoke-bottoms cut into small pointed quarters, may also be served with a fricassee of chickens.

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