December 31, 2017

Crisco - 1913 !

We had iced over roads here in Houston today and it just wasn't safe to drive in to work.

Camped out with the internetz, I started exploring and came across a Crisco cookbook from the early 1900's. It was fascinating because, reading through the recipes, I quickly realized that foods we consider standard comfort food fare, were already in place a century ago. The section on the "logic" behind hydrogenation that led to the creation of Crisco was very interesting. So, of course, I had to scroll down to the section on Fried Chicken.  Here is a copy paste of that section. But I highly recommend your checking out the original book at Gutenberg. Note the hot sweet cream and hot roasted peanuts variation below and also the corn croquettes recipe.

Fried Chicken

Select young tender chickens and disjoint. Wash carefully and let stand over night in refrigerator.


(Kate B. Vaughn)
Drain chicken but do not wipe dry. Season with salt and white pepper and dredge well with flour. Fry in deep Crisco hot enough to brown a crumb of bread in sixty seconds. It requires from ten to twelve minutes to fry chicken. Drain and place on a hot platter garnished with parsley and rice croquettes.


(Kate B. Vaughn)
Make batter of 1 cupful flour, 1 teaspoonful salt, 2 grains white pepper, 1/2 cupful water, 2 well beaten eggs, and 1 tablespoonful melted Crisco. Have kettle of Crisco hot enough to turn crumb of bread a golden brown in sixty seconds. Drain chicken but do not dry. Dip each joint separately in batter and fry in the Crisco until golden brown. It should take from ten to twelve minutes. Serve on a folded napkin garnished with parsley.


(Kate B. Vaughn)
Drain chicken but do not wipe dry. Season with salt and white pepper and dredge well with flour. Put three tablespoonfuls Crisco in frying pan and when hot place chicken in pan; cover, and allow to steam for ten minutes. Uncover, and allow chicken to brown, taking care to turn frequently. Serve on hot platter, garnished with parsley and serve with cream gravy.


Select medium-sized chickens and wash well, then cut into neat pieces and season them. Mix 1 cupful cornmeal with 1 cupful flour, 1 tablespoonful salt and 1 tablespoonful black pepper. Dip each piece in mixture and fry in hot Crisco twelve minutes. Drain and serve with cornmeal batter bread.


Wash young chicken, cut into neat pieces, dust with salt, pepper, and flour, and fry in hot Crisco twelve minutes. Drain, place on hot platter, pour over it 1/2 pint hot sweet cream, sprinkle over with chopped hot roasted peanuts, little salt and pepper.

Fried Chicken, Mexican Style

1 tender chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic
1 seeded green pepper
2 large tomatoes
5 tablespoonfuls Crisco
Corn croquettes
For Croquettes
2 tablespoonfuls Crisco
1 can or 14 ears corn
2 tablespoonfuls flour
2 cupfuls milk
1/2 teaspoonful sugar
Pepper and salt to taste
1 egg
For chicken. Draw, wash and dry chicken, then cut into neat joints, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat Crisco in frying pan, add clove of garlic and pepper cut in small pieces. When garlic turns brown take out, put chicken in, fry till brown, then cover closely, allow to simmer till ready. A short time before covering chicken, add tomatoes peeled and cut in small pieces.
For croquettes. Drain liquor from can of corn, or grate ears, and chop kernels fine. Blend Crisco and flour together in pan over fire, add milk, stir till boiling and cook five minutes, stirring all the time, add seasonings, and corn, and cook five minutes, then allow to cool. When cold, form lightly with floured hands into neat croquettes, brush over with beaten egg, toss in crumbs and fry in hot Crisco to a golden brown. Drain. Place chicken on hot platter, garnish with croquettes and serve hot.

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