This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
The seasonings have a great deal to do with the success of the casserole whenever a "made dish" is being prepared. The touch of mint in the casserole of duck, for instance, lifts the dish into the epicurean. However, those who do not like highly-seasoned dishes will find the casserole of inestimable help in plain cookery. A fowl disjointed as for plain fricassee, salted and peppered, rolled in flour, browned or not, according to whether a white or brown result is desired, packed in the casserole, covered with hot water, and baked for three to four hours, according to the age, makes possible a dish in which all the chicken flavor is retained, and which demands almost no attention from start to finish. A three-pound chicken prepared by the same method will cook to perfection in fifty minutes to an hour in a glass casserole.
Few people are conversant with the delicious flavor of properly cooked fish, because it is usually fried. Moreover, most American housewives are prone to accept fish which is tainted. Just as soon as women realize that they control, by the law of supply and demand, the sale of absolutely pure food, the smell of strong fish will disappear from our markets and homes. The woman who lives at some distance from the market cannot usually procure fresh fish unless she is fortunate enough to have a sportsman in the family, but for her there are many varieties both salted and smoked. Properly treated, they are almost as good as when fresh. Salt cod, smoked halibut and salmon lend themselves admirably to casserole cookery. Salt mackerel, white fish, bloaters, as well as cod, salmon and halibut, can be used to most excellent advantage in the low, open casseroles, sometimes known as au gratin dishes, or on fireproof platters.