One is absolutely bewildered at the hundred dishes which are made of chickens. Most of the entrées are prepared with the breasts alone, called fillets. There are boudins and quenelles of fowls, and fillets of fowls a la Toulouse, à la maréchale, etc.. etc., and supreme of fillets of fowls à Vécarlate, etc., and aspics of fowls; then, chickens à la Marengo, à la Lyonnaise, à la reine; then, marinades and capitolades of chickens, and fricassees of chickens of scores of names. I would explain some of these long-sounding terms if this book were not already too long, and if at last they were any better than when cooked in the more simple ways.
Cut them open at the back, spread them out in a baking-pan, sprinkle on plenty of pepper, salt, and a little flour. Baste them well with hot water, which should be in the bottom of the pan, also at different times with a little butter. When done, rub butter over them, as you would beefsteak, and set them in the oven for a moment before serving.
Chickens are roasted and boiled as are turkeys. In winter there is no better way of cooking chickens than to boil them whole, and pour over them a good caper or pickle sauce just before serving. A large tough chicken is very good managed in this manner. Of course, the chicken should be put into boiling water, which should not stop boiling until the chicken is entirely done. With this management it will retain its flavor, yet the water in which it is boiled should always be saved for soup. It is a valuable addition to any kind of soup. The cut represents a chicken in a bed of rice.
Dress the chickens or fish, making as small incisions as possible, and without removing the skin, feathers, or scales. Fill them with the usual bread stuffing, well seasoned with chopped pork, onion, pepper, and salt. Sew the cut quite firmly. Cover the chicken or fish entirely with wet clay, spreading it half an inch to an inch thick. Bury it in a bed of hot ashes, with coals on top, and let it bake about an hour and a quarter if it weighs two pounds. The skin, feathers, or scales will peel off when removing the cake of clay, leaving the object quite clean, and especially delicious with that "best of sauces, a good appetite;" however, there is no reason why a camping party should not indulge in other sauces at the same time.
A chicken may be surrounded in the same way with a paste of flour and water, and baked in the oven.
Cut two chickens into pieces. Reserve all the white meat and the best pieces for the fricassee. The trimmings and the inferior pieces use to make the gravy. Put these pieces into a porcelain kettle, with a quart of cold water, one clove, pepper, salt, a small onion, a little bunch of parsley, and a small piece of pork; let it simmer for half an hour, and then put in the pieces for the fricassee; let them boil slowly until they are quite done; take them out then, and keep them in a hot place. Now strain the gravy, take off all the fat, and add it to a roux of half a cupful of flour and a small piece of butter. Let this boil; take it off the stove and stir in three yolks of eggs mix-ed with two or three table-spoonfuls of cream; also the juice of half a lemon. Do not let it boil after the eggs are in, or they will curdle. Stir it well, keeping it hot a moment; then pour it over the chicken, and serve. Some of the fricassees with long and formidable names are not much more than wine or mushrooms, or both, added to this receipt.