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A 200-Year Old Chicken Salad Recipe

A 200-Year Old Chicken Salad Recipe

This recipe is called a French Salad and it comes from Maria Rundell’s 1808 cookbook, “A New System of Domestic Cookery”, but even though it is a 19th century recipe, it is very similar to a number of different 18th century recipes for salads.

  • 2 or 3 Anchovies
  • 1 Chopped Shallot
  • ¾ cup chopped Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive or Almond Oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Distilled Vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Mustard of choice
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • ¾ pound Roasted Chicken completely cooled

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Mince your anchovies and mix with the shallot and parsley. In another bowl, mix your oil with the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper and whisk together, then add it back to the other bowl and mix well.

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Next, break your chicken up into small pieces or strips and add it to the vinaigrette, completely coating the chicken. Cover your bowl and set aside in a cool place like your refrigerator for about 3 hours.

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This would traditionally have been served on toast, but can also be served as a sandwich or even straight out of the bowl.

Transcription of Video:

Today I’m going to be demonstrating a simple and refreshing chicken salad right out of the 18th century. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking.

Today’s recipe is called a French Salad and it comes from Maria Rundell’s 1808 cookbook, “A New System of Domestic Cookery”. I know, 1808, now that’s the early 19th century isn’t it, but it turns out that this is very similar to a number of different 18th century recipes for salad. Salads have been around for hundreds of years, even thousands of years. We know that the Romans had salads and especially in the 17th and 18th century, the French and Italians were known for their salads.

Now the salads, this one’s called a French salad, and that’s quite likely because the English were so fond of French cooking and in fact they imported French cooks to cook for them and so salads were kind of known as a French dish in the English culture.

In the 18th century, salads took on many different forms. Of course, they had their cabbages and their lettuces. In fact, today we know this as Romain lettuce, in the 18th century it was just Roman lettuce. They also had a variety of vegetables. Endive, radish tops, leeks, and green onions were commonly used. Some vegetable salads were raw and some were cooked or even boiled. Other salads used meats or pickled fish. They also used herbs in their salads, not just as accents, but as major ingredients. Things where we might never put into a salad.

Now many people think of flowers in a salad as a new thing, but in fact in the 18th century, flowers were very common in salads. They had periwinkle and violets, nasturtium, those were all in 18th century salad recipes. Sometimes they were fresh and other times they might be candied. They were favored for, not only their color, but their flavor also. Ivy did a video a year ago on how to candy violets. If you haven’t seen that video, I invite you to watch it. I’ll make sure to put a link down in the description of this video.

Now what we’re making today is a meat salad. Now the common element that seems to tie all these kinds of salads together was the dressing which was usually some kind of vinaigrette and that’s where we’re going to start.

I’m going to mince 2 or 3 anchovies and put those in a large bowl, mix them with 1 chopped shallot and about ¾ of a cup of chopped parsley. The recipe calls for oil, about a tablespoon of oil and I’m using olive oil here. Now occasionally they would have used, say an almond oil also in an 18th century recipe like this and that might be an interesting variation you could try.

So now let’s add the acid. We need about twice as much acid. The recipe calls just for vinegar. Now likely what they mean is a malt vinegar in the time period. I’m not using malt vinegar today, but actually half lemon juice, about 2 tablespoons, and half distilled vinegar. To this I’ll add a teaspoon of, say the mustard of my choice, along with a little bit of salt, a little bit of pepper and I’m going to whisk this together.

Now it’s time for the meat. I have here some roasted chicken. It’s about ¾ of a pound that I had from earlier. It’s completely cooled and I can start to add this to our vinaigrette. This needs to be covered and set aside for about 3 hours so that the flavors can blend. I suggest you store it in a cool place like your refrigerator.

So, let’s give this a try.

Mmm, wonderful blend of flavors. They’re all right there. You can get a little bit of that lemon juice, but it’s not overpowering and it works so well with that oil. It all blends together so well and those flavors are just boom, they’re just right there. So this one is really good and they likely would have served this over toast or, you know, in a modern context this would go really good on a croissant although they didn’t have anything quite like that in the 18th century, but still, and you could just eat it just like this, just right out of a bowl. It is great.

Well, there you have it, a delightful 18th century chicken salad. Really good, very simple. You should try this one out. You know, I really want to encourage you to share this video. If you enjoyed it please share it on Facebook or the social network of your choice. Whenever you do that, it is so helpful, so thank you for that and if you’re interested in living history, in reenacting, we’ve got this great little getting started course. It’s a free 7 or 8 episode course and it’s kind of fun. You’ll learn a lot, so definitely check that out. I’ll put a link down in the description section of this video and I want to thank you for coming along as we try out these really interesting recipes from history, as we savor the flavors and the aromas of the 18th century.

If you’re new to our channel, I want to welcome you. You can subscribe by clicking the button right up here. Also, check out our related videos. Thanks so much for watching.

Carrot Pudding

Carrot Pudding(Time 0_03_22;29)Today’s recipe, a 17th century carrot pudding, comes from The Compleat Cook by Rebecca Price.Carrot Pudding (Time 0_00_27;18)

  • 6 ounces Breadcrumbs (or Cornmeal)
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons Honey (or Maple Syrup)
  • 2 ounces Sack (Wine)
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 8 ounces Shredded Carrots
  • 2 ounces Melted Butter

Mix together eggs well beaten, milk, honey and Sack.Carrot Pudding (Time 0_01_43;00)

Add nutmeg, carrots, and breadcrumbs.Carrot Pudding (Time 0_02_17;08)

Add in melted butter and enough milk to make the consistency of batter. Pour into well buttered dish and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.Carrot Pudding (Time 0_02_59;03)

Transcript of Video:

In the episode today, we’re going to be baking a 17th century carrot pudding. Thanks for joining us today on 18th Century Cooking with James Townsend and Son.

Carrots are perfect for this time of year in the early spring. These root vegetables have been held over from last fall, so that’s what we’re going to cook with today.

Today’s recipe comes from The Compleat Cook by Rebecca Price. This book is available online. You can usually find it used. I don’t think it’s currently in print. Rebecca Price’s book is a manuscript collection of recipes from the late 17th century, somewhere around 1680. We can tell it’s a collection, because she calls this recipe a carrot pudding baked, my Lady How’s Recipe. I went digging through the old cookbooks and I found very similar recipes throughout the 18th century. There’s even one here in Primitive Cookery which is one of the cookbooks that we offer.

So this is a very simple recipe to put together. We start off with bread crumbs and what she calls for is the crumb of a two penny loaf. Now that’s very ambiguous. Loaves changed in size throughout this time period and it really depended on the sizes at the time as to how much a bread loaf weighed and in fact, the two penny loaf could be a two penny wheaten loaf or a two penny household loaf. I’m guessing from the idea that it’s Lady How’s recipe that we’re using a fairly high class bread, so it’s going to be the wheaten loaf and a two penny loaf, in the time frame, may have weighed, say, a little over a pound. I’m going to be adjusting this recipe and so we’re going to use just 6 ounces of breadcrumbs.

Let’s start off with the wet ingredients first. I’ve got 4 egg yolks, two egg whites. I’ve got my milk. This is 1 cup of milk, at least to start off with. The recipe calls for sweetening to taste. Here, we’re going to use honey, say, a tablespoon or two. A couple of ounces of sack. Sack, in the time period, is a wine used many times in cooking and it’s a kind of Sherry.

I’m going to put in just a pinch of nutmeg here. Now let’s add in our carrots, 8 ounces of shredded carrots, and finally, let’s add 6 ounces of bread crumbs, and the last thing we’re going to use here is 2 ounces of melted butter.

If your batter seems too dry, just add a little more milk until you get to a consistency that seems right. Now that our batter is mixed up, put it in a pre-buttered dish here. Some of the later recipes actually call for using a puff paste crust in this. There’s no reference to a crust in this particular recipe and I found that it works just fine by baking it straight in this dish.

Rebecca Price’s recipe suggests baking this for a half hour. Mine took a little bit longer, 35-40 minutes. I would bake it at approximately 350 degrees.

Let’s give this a try. Mmm, mmm, very, very nice. It’s really, it’s not too sweet, but it’s still plenty sweet. It’s almost like a bread pudding. In fact, in the later recipes, the 18th century ones, many times double the amount of bread crumbs in this, so it would be very much more like, say, a bread pudding with a little bit of carrot added. The sack and the butter have got some wonderful flavor in here. I think it’s one of the missing sauces that’s not popular today. Having a sack and butter sauce, very, very good, especially on this. The carrots are really good, but they don’t stand out so much that if you’ve got a picky eater, they won’t mind the carrots in this.

I was thinking about this recipe in a North American context and variations on it. In New England, white bread crumbs aren’t necessarily readily available in the 18th century, so what are you going to use instead? Cornmeal, I’ll bet, would be a great alteration. So if you put cornmeal in instead of the bread crumbs, and maybe instead of the honey, maple syrup, you’d have a great New England variation on this recipe.

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