Early american recipes: Unusual Recipes

_Pigeons a la Gauthier._

Procure 4 young, fat pigeons; draw, singe and truss them with their legs thrust inside; next put a half-pound of fresh butter into a small stewpan with the juice of a lemon, a little mignonette, pepper, and salt; place this over a stove-fire, and when it is melted put the pigeons with a garnished faggot of parsley in it, cover the whole with thin layers of fat bacon and a circular piece of buttered paper, and set them to simmer very gently on a slow fire for about 20 minutes, when they will be done. The pigeons must then be drained upon a napkin, and after all the greasy moisture has been absorbed place them in the dish in the form of a square, with a large quenelle of fowl (decorated with truffles) in between each pigeon; fill the centre with a ragout of crayfish tails; pour some of the sauce over and round the pigeons, and serve.

_Rabbits a la Bourguignonne_

Cut the rabbits up into small joints, season with pepper and salt, and fry them slightly over the fire without allowing them to acquire much color; adding half a pint of button-onions previously parboiled in water, a very little grated nutmeg, and half a pottle of mushrooms; toss these over the fire for five minutes, then add a tumblerfull of French white wine (Chablis or Sauterne), and set this to boil sharply until reduced to half the quantity; next add 2 large gravyspoonsful of Poivrade sauce (which see), simmer the whole together gently for ten minutes longer, and finish by incorporating a leason of 4 yolks of eggs, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and a dessertspoonful of chopped parboiled parsley; dish up the pieces of rabbit in a pyramidal form, garnish the entree with the onions, etc., placed in groups round the base, pour the sauce over it and serve.

_Salmis of Wild Duck._

Roast a wild duck before a brisk fire for about 25 minutes, so that it may retain its gravy, place it on its breast in a dish to get cool, then cut it up into small joints comprising 2 fillets, 2 legs with the breast and back each cut into 2 pieces, and place the whole in a stewpan. Put the trimmings into a stewpan with 1/2 pint of red wine, 4 shallots a sprig of thyme, a bay-leaf, the rind of an orange free from pith, the pulp of a lemon, and a little Cayenne; boil these down to half their original quantity then add a small ladleful of sauce, allow the sauce to boil, skim it and pass it through a tammy on to, the pieces of wild duck. Then about to send to the table warm the salmis without boiling, dish it up, pour the sauce over it, garnish the entree with 8 heart-shaped croutons of fried bread nicely glazed, and serve.

_Roast Hare._

Skin and draw the hare, leaving on the ears which must be scalped and the hairs scraped off pick out the eyes and cut off the feet or pads just above the first joint, wipe the hare with a clean cloth, and out the sinews at the back of the hindquarters and below the fore legs. Prepare some veal stuffing and fill the paunch with it, sew this up with string or fasten it with a wooden skewer then draw the legs under as if the hare was in sitting posture, set the head between the shoulders and stick a small skewer through them, running also through the neck to secure its position; run another skewer through the fore legs gathered up under the paunch, then take a yard of string, double it in two, placing the centre of it on the breast of the hare and bring both ends over the skewer, cross the string over troth sides of the other skewer and fasten it over the back. Split the hare and roast it before a brisk fire for about three-quarters of an hour, frequently basting it with butter or dripping. Five minutes before taking the hare up throw on a little salt, shake some flour over it with a dredger, and baste it with some fresh butter; when this froths up and the hare has acquired a rich brown crust take it off the spit, dish it up with water-cresses round it, pour some brown gravy under, and send some currant jelly in a boat to be handed round.

_Roast Pheasant._

Draw the pheasant by making a small opening at the vent, make an incision along the back part of the neck, loosen the pouch, etc., with the fingers and then remove it; singe the body of the peasant and its legs over the flame of a charcoal fire or with a piece of paper, rub the scaly cuticle off the legs with a cloth, trim away the claws and spurs, cut off the neck close up to the back leaving the skin of the breast entire, wipe the pheasant clean, and then truss it in the following manner: Place the pheasant upon its breast, run a trussing-needle and string through the left pinion (the wings being removed), then turn the bird over on its back and place the thumb and fore-finger of the left hand across the breast, holding the legs erect; thrust the needle through the middle joint of both thighs, draw it out and then pass it through the other pinion and fasten the strings at the back; next pass the needle through the legs and body and tie the strings tightly; this will give it an appearance of plumpness. Spit and roast the pheasant before a brisk fire for about half an hour, frequently basting it; when done send to table with brown gravy under it and bread sauce (which see) separately ill a boat. _Wild Fowl, en Salmis._

Cut up a cold roast duck (wild), goose, brant, or whatever it may be. Put into a bowl or soup-plate (to every bird) a dessertspoonful of well made mustard, a sprinkle of cayenne and black pepper, with about a gill of red wine; mix them well together, set your pan on the fire with a lump of butter, when it melts add gradually the wine, etc., let it bubble a minute; put in your duck and bubble it for a few minutes. If your duck has proved tough when first cooked, use a saucepan and let it bubble till tender, taking care there is enough gravy to keep it from burning. Serve on dry toast very hot.


Pigeons may be broiled or roasted like chicken. They will cook in three-quarters of an hour. Make a gravy of the giblets, season it with pepper and salt, and thicken it with a little flour and butter.


Plunge them into boiling water till they are dead, take them out, pull off the outer skin and toe-nails, wash them in warm water and boll them with a teaspoonful of salt to each middling-sized terrapin till you can pinch the flesh from off the bone of the leg, turn them out of the shell into a dish, remove the sand-bag and gall, add the yolks of 2 eggs, cut up your meat, season pretty high with equal parts of black and cayenne pepper and salt. Put all into your saucepan with the liquor they have given out in cutting up, but not a drop of water, add 1/4 of a pound of butter with a gill of Madeira to every 2 middlesized terrapins; simmer gently till tender, closely covered, thicken with flour and serve hot.

_To Stew Terrapins._

Wash 4 terrapins in warm water, then throw them in a pot of boiling water, which will kill them instantly; let them boil till the shells crack, then take them out and take off the bottom shell, cut each quarter separate, take the gall from the liver' take out the eggs, put the pieces in a stewpan, pour in all the liquor and cover them with water; put in salt, cayenne, and black pepper and a little mace, put in a lump of butter the size of an egg and let them stew for half an hour, make a thickening of dour and water which stir in a few minutes before you take it up with two glasses of wine. Serve it in a deep covered dish, put in the eggs just us you dish it.

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