Heritage Gateways

Official Sesquicentennial K-12 Education Project
sponsored by the Utah State Board of Education, the BYU-Public School Partnership and the Utah Education Network


Previous | Next

Cooking: Poultry (Preparation and recipes)

Roast Turkey. Select a young turkey; remove all the feathers carefully, singe it over a burning newspaper on the top of the stove; then "draw" it nicely, being very careful not to break any of the internal organs; remove the crop carefully; cut off the head and tie the neck close to the body in drawing the skin over it. Now rinse the inside of the turkey out with several waters, and in the next to the last, mix a teaspoonful of baking soda; oftentimes the inside of a fowl is very sour, especially if it is not freshly killed. Soda, being cleansing, acts as a corrective and destroys that unpleasant taste which we frequently experience in the dressing when fowls have been killed for some time. Now, after washing, wipe the turkey dry, inside and out, with a dean cloth, rub the inside with salt, then stuff the breast and body with "dressing for fowls." Sew up the turkey with a strong thread, tie the legs and wings to the body, rub it over with a little soft butter, sprinkle over some salt and pepper, dredge with a little flour; place it in a dripping pan, pour in a cup of boiling water and set in the oven. Baste the turkey often, turning it around occasionally so that every part will be uniformly baked. When pierced with a fork and the liquid runs out perfectly clear, the bird is done. If any part is likely to scorch, pin over it a piece of buttered white paper. A fifteen pound turkey requires between three and four hours to bake.

Dressing. For an eight or ten pound turkey, cut the brown crust from slices or pieces of stale bread until you have as much as the inside of a pound loaf; put it into a suitable dish and pour tepid water (not warm for that makes it heavy) over it; let it stand for one minute, as it soaks very quickly. Now take up a handful at a time and squeeze it hard and dry with both hands, placing it, as you go along, in another dish; this process makes it very light. When all is pressed dry, toss it all up lightly through your fingers; now add pepper, salt, about a teaspoonful, also a teaspoonful of powdered summer savory, the same amount of sage, or the green herb minced fine; add half a cup of melted butter, and a beaten egg or not. Work thoroughly together, and it is ready for dressing either fowls, fish or meats. A little chopped sausage in turkey dressing is considered by some an improvement, when well incorporated with the other ingredients. For geese and ducks the stuffing may be the same as for turkey, with the addition of a few slices of onion chopped fine.

Gravy. When you put the turkey in to roast, put the neck, heart liver and gizzard into a stewpan with a pint of water; boil until they become quite tender; take them out of the water, chop the heart and gizzard, mash the liver and throw away the neck; return the chopped heart, gizzard and liver to the liquor in which they were stewed; set it to one side, and when the turkey is done it should be added to the gravy that dripped from the turkey, having first skimmed off the fat from the surface of the dripping pan; set it all over the fire, boil three minutes and thicken with flour. It will not need brown flour to color the gravy.

Stewed Chicken with Dumplings. Cut fowl into pieces for serving, transfer to kettle with water enough to cover and simmer until tender. Remove chicken and keep hot; blend two or three tbs. of flour with a little cold water, add some of the chicken broth, add the remaining soup and stir until thickened. Add salt as needed, drop small spoonsful of dumpling batter and cook for 15 minutes. The cover must not be removed while the dumplings are cooking for if the steam escapes they will not be light.

Dumplings. 3/4 cups sifted flour; 21/2 tsp. baking powder; 1/2 tsp. salt;1 egg; 1/3 cup milk. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Beat the egg, add the milk and mix with dry ingredients.

Baked Chicken with Green Peas. Melt a piece of butter and a little sugar in a pan. Add the washed green peas, a little salt and cook slowly. When tender dust with a little flour and some beef broth, a little sweet cream, green parsley and simmer. Cook the cream before adding to the peas to keep it from curdling. If chickens are small, cut in quarters, bigger ones into small pieces. Salt and let drain for an hour and dry. Roll in flour, dip in beaten eggs then in crumbs and fry in lard. Put the peas in center of platter and place chicken around them.

Sage Hen. Prepare as for tame chicken. Roll in flour or bake in bake kettle. Put slices of salt pork over the chicken after it has been salted and peppered well. Cover and cook slowly. Uncover to brown when nearly done.

Pheasant with Sweet Sauerkraut. Melt in a pan some lard or other fat. Add 1 tbs. sugar and let it get a golden brown. Add sauerkraut which has been standing in hot water. Cut a small onion fine and add to the kraut. Add caraway seed, not too much or it will get bitter. Cook until soft. Sprinkle lightly with flour, add a little vinegar, sour cream and hot melted fat. Simmer, but not brown. Stuff the pheasant and roast it on a spit. Place the bird on a platter and surround with kraut.

Source: Our Pioneer Heritage © Carter, Kate B., ed. 20 vols. Salt Lake City: International Society, Daughters of Utah Pioneers, 1958-1977. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Documents and images are exerpted by permission from the LDS Family History Suite CDROM from Ancestry.