Thursday, November 24, 2016
Below are a couple of recipes for Turkey from 19th century cookbooks:
The first recipe comes from Riverside Recipe Book ©1890
183. Allow % of a pound of dressed fowl to a man. Pick and clean the turkey well—saving the heart, liver, and gizzard for the stuffing. To prepare the stuffing, take 1-3 bread and soak well in water and squeeze out with the hands. Add 1-3 minced potatoes and 1-5 brown minced onions. Season with pepper, salt and a little sage, thyme or other flavor. Mix well and stuff into the turkey filling the space vacated by the entrails and craw. Sew up the turkey with a strong thread, and bend the wings under the back and tie down to the body. Make a batter, with flour and fat, seasoning it with pepper and salt and rub over the turkey with hand, before placing in the oven. Place in the oven. In about 20 minutes add a little hot water and baste frequently until done. This willigenerally take about 2VZ hours, but depends greatly Upon the particular fowl roasted, as some are small and tender and others large and tough. Turkeys, as a rule, have a dry skin, and it is for that reason that the batter is rubbed on; if the turkey is very fat it may be omitted, but it will do no harm to use it under any circumstances. The above stuffing is the one generally used, but as an alternative the bread may be soaked in oyster juice and the oysters (proportion 1-3) may be used in the preparation. Again the sliced onions may be replaced by chopped celery; or, the bread may be cut into 1%-inch cubes, toasted and used as bread. A little lemon juice may well be added. Sometimes in Spanish countries, the onions or celery are replaced by currants or raisins. This stuffing may be used at any time when stuffing is required. It is equally good for fowl or fish.
To Serve Turkey.
Remove the stuffing and place on the platter; then carve the turkey, cutting the breast pieces as large and thin as possible. Take the breast bone and press into the stuffing on top. Place the legs, wings and finer parts around the stuffing then spread the large white pieces over the whole. Make a little gravy in the pan where the turkey was roasted and pour over. Garnish the dish with greens of some description—water cresses or parsley preferred. Serve hot with cranberry sauce.
The recipe comes from a 1896 publication "The Young Woman's Journal" Vol. 7 Pg. 103
RECIPE FOR COOKING TURKEY.
Select a nice young turkey. Clean and wash thoroughly; wipe dry, as moisture will spoil the stuffing. Take one loaf of stale bread, grated fine; mix into this one teacup of melted butter, and if not moist enough a little water or milk; season with pepper, salt and a little powdered sage, if liked, also onion. Rub all together and fill the turkey, sewing it up so that the stuffing cannot cook out. (We need hardly say that the strings are to be clipped and removed before placing upon the table.) Rub salt on the outside, put in some large vessel to steam, where it will not touch water. Steam till tender, which will require two hours or more, according to size and age.
Remove to your dripping pan, pour in a cup or more of boiling water, and some pieces of butter; baste frequently, till nicely browned, then remove. After taking out the turkey, add flour; stir until brown. Add the giblets (which have been previously steamed with turkey), chopped fine; serve hot.
Elmina S. Taylor.