ANTIQUE RECIPE FIND of the CENTURY and CHICKEN TETRAZZINI CASSEROLE

As you know I LOVE antique recipes! I am ALWAYS on the prowl for antique recipe boxes IF they are FULL of actual recipes, well, and occasionally if they aren’t 😀 

On our anniversary amid the pandemic we HAD to get out for a bit and went for lunch and decided antiquing was a safe excursion.  We had a GREAT time at the few places that were actually open.  But, it was in the last store that hubby surprised me with the greatest gift, an antique notebook from 1914 ish.  The recipes themselves aren’t dated, but ARE written in pen and ink that was blotted. There was an article in the back of the notebook from Essex, England April 21, 1915 on “An American Woman”.  Upon further inspection, she saved it for the “When Tomatoes Are Plentiful” recipes on the back side.

Each recipe has its own unique qualities, but one of the best things is that they are attributed to their original author, whether its “Mother” or “Marys Cook” or Bess Maxwell…

There are about 40 or so recipes in the notebook and I want to try ALL of them except 2 or 3 – I’m just NOT a fan of curry or aspic 🙂

The first thing I did was CAREFULLY open the notebook and photocopy each page.  I then put it back together with carefully placed rubber bands to help keep it square. Since these are over 100 years old, I wanted to handle them as little as possible. Fortunately, pen and ink photos quite well and I now have really good working copies to operate from.

I did a little research on the notebook itself, “The National Notebook for use in the National Notebook System adapted for ALL Written Schoolwork”. The patent dates back to 1898, a time when people were transitioning from slates to paper which had become inexpensive and allowed students to retain their notes.

I’m still trying to make out some of the formal cursive writing and a few of the titles, but the ingredients sound really good and are seriously FROM SCRATCH.

The first recipe I tried in its ORIGINAL form is from Ernest Arbogast, the chef at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, but made famous by Chef Louis Paquet is Chicken Tetrazzini.  It is said that he named the recipe after Italian opera star Luisa Tetrazzini.  It is widely believed to have been invented around 1908–1910. So, I’m sure the recipe was making the rounds through all the housewives 😀

The version I was taught when I was younger was seriously altered and shortcutted with processed foods so this is a really FANTASTIC find!

CHICKEN TETRAZZINI CASSEROLE
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons WONDRA flour
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Cream of Sherry
1/2 pound prepared spaghetti
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, reserve tops for later
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
2 1/2 cups small diced cooked chicken
1 can petite green peas, drained
1/2 cup FRESH grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sliced almonds

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Spray 8×10 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet.
  • Add onions and mushrooms, sauteing until caramelized. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • In another bowl add chicken pieces. Set aside.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet.
  • Whisk in flour until golden.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Whisk in broth and bring to a SLOW boil.
  • Reduce heat and whisk in the white pepper, nutmeg and paprika.
  • Whisk in cream sherry and heavy cream, simmering 5 minutes.
  • Pour half of sauce into mushrooms and the other half into the chicken pieces.
  • Arrange spaghetti around the edges of the baking dish, leaving the center empty.
  • Spread chicken into the center of the baking dish.
  • Top with mushroom mixture and peas. Spread even.
  • Sprinkle cheese and then almonds evenly over top.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes.
  • Top with green onion tops.

CHILI STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS

CHILI STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS serves 6
6 medium zucchini or 3 LARGE, depending on type
2 tablespoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 3/4 pounds QUALITY ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and chopped small
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons QUALITY tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 handful cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Sour cream, for garnish
Green onions, chopped for garnish
Chopped Cilantro, for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Cover baking sheet with foil or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Wash zucchini and cut off ends.
  • Cut zucchini in half and remove seeds to hollow out centers.
  • Spread oil on zucchini and sprinkle with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Place zucchini on baking sheet. Set aside while you prepare chili.

 

  • Heat oil in large cast iron skillet.
  • Add ground beef to brown. Drain off excess grease.
  • Add onions, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Cook 4-5 minutes until onions soften.
  • Whisk together tomato paste, chicken stock and tomato sauce.
  • Add tomato mixture to meat, stirring to combine and cooking 8-10 minutes until VERY thick.
  • Stir in cilantro.
  • Fill zucchini boats with chili and sprinkle with cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake 15-20 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes more until cheese is golden.
  • Top with sour cream, green onions and cilantro.

GRILLED CHICKEN with PEACHES & GREEN TOMATOES

GRILLED CHICKEN with PEACHES & GREEN TOMATOES
1/2 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced FRESH ginger
4-6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 tablespoons avocado oil
2-3 green tomatoes, cut into wedges
2-3 FRESH peaches, cut into wedges
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped flat leaf parsley
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper

  • Combine liquid aminos, brown sugar, ginger and garlic in a large Ziploc bag.
  • Add chicken, seal bag and turn to coat chicken.
  • Refrigerate AT LEAST 2 hours. All day or overnight is best. Turn bag frequently.

 

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • In a LARGE cast iron skillet heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add tomatoes and peaches to cook, turning once, until lightly browned.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Whisk together the lemon juice, salt, honey and 1 tablespoon of avocado oil.
  • Fold in parsley.
  • Pour over tomatoes and peaches, gently turning to coat.
  • Add last 1/2 tablespoon of oil to skillet over medium heat.
  • Drain chicken of marinade.
  • Add to skillet skin side down, cooking 2-3 minutes until browned.
  • Turn chicken and transfer to oven for 20-25 minutes until cooked through.
  • Plate chicken and top with peach tomato mixture.

NOTE:  Grilling the chicken works well too.

CONVEYOR BELT CHICKEN

I can’t tell you what cook book this is from because it is just a photoed page, not even a good photo or a whole page. 😀 BUT, the title caught my attention so I tucked it away for a future date and guess what, today’s the day. I finally sat down and read the recipe only to find it is SO SO simple and similar to a way grams used to prepare chicken.

According to the author, it’s more the method than the ingredients that led to the name of this recipe. She used bone-in thighs that she de-boned, but retained the skin. I left the bone in though for simplicity and to add some flavor. They are cooked over a medium low heat in pre-heated cast iron with a weighted press. The moderate heat plus the weighted press encourages the fat to render evenly and leaves behind a golden crisp skin and VERY tender meat.

I’ve adapted it ever so slightly by adding minced garlic and chopped thyme during the cooking. In my opinion it ALWAYS creates a golden, crisp skin and super tender meat that presents itself beautiful enough for a company inspired dinner.

I will warn you that this is a horrible picture, but it didn’t change the awesome flavor! Oh and the conveyor belt name?  It apparently came from the author’s friend’s husband loving the chicken so much that he wanted to build a conveyor belt from the plate to his mouth!

CONVEYOR BELT CHICKEN
1 large chicken thigh per person
Avocado oil (or olive oil if you prefer)
1 tablespoon butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons FRESH chopped thyme leaves

  • Preheat cast iron pan over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat slightly.
  • Add butter, garlic and thyme, swirling to coat pan.
  • Rub chicken breasts with avocado oil and add to the pan skin side down.
  • Add weight press and cook 10 minutes undisturbed until skin is golden.
  • Remove the weight and cook 2 minutes more.
  • Spoon any remaining butter and herbs over the chicken pieces and serve.

AMALFI POSITANO CHICKEN or PORK

I found this scrap of a recipe in my BIG bin of recipe scraps and the name POSITANO chicken intrigued me so I did a little research and decided to make the recipe.  Positano is a cliff side village on the Amalfi coast that is known primarily for seafood, FRESH pasta and Buffalo Mozzarella cheese.  So, I have NO idea why this recipe was originally written for chicken 😀  but it was and I have adapted it to fit not only chicken, but also pork. Since cheese and seafood are not usually a great mix I have no real plans to adapt it to the seafood that the Amalfi coast is famous for.  Overall it kind of reminds me of an Italian version of Chicken Kiev.

AMALFI POSITANO CHICKEN or PORK serves 6
6 – 8 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 pound ground Italian sausage, cooked crumbly, drained of grease and cooled
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
3 cups grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup roasted red pepper, diced and cooled
1/4 cup FRESH small torn basil leaves
2 cups all purpose flour
6 eggs, whisked
3 cups seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3 tablespoons avocado oil

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line a baking tray with foil LIGHTLY sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Cover chicken breasts with plastic wrap and pound chicken breast (or pork chop) until all breasts are the same thickness around under 1/2 an inch.
  • Mix together the Romano cheese, Mozzarella cheese, chopped peppers, crumbled sausage and basil pieces until well blended.
  • Place about 1/2 cup of cheese mixture in the center of each chicken breast. Fold chicken breast over and seal edges with toothpicks.
  • Set up a dredging station with flour, eggs and bread crumbs.
  • Dredge each chicken breasts in flour, then eggs followed by bread crumbs.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add chicken breasts in batches, sauteing 2-3 minutes all sides until golden.
  • Place chicken pieces on baking tray.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until cheese begins to ooze from the edges.
  • Serve over prepared pasta or mashed potatoes.
  • Top with Marsala sauce. (recipe below)

MARSALA SAUCE
3 tablespoons avocado oil
1/4 cup shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 pound Beech mushrooms
3 tablespoons WONDRA flour
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1 1/2 cups beef stock
FRESH ground sea salt and pepper, to taste

  • Add oil to heavy hot saucepan.
  • Add shallots, garlic and mushrooms, sautéing until mushrooms are tender.
  • Add flour and cook about 1 minute.
  • Deglaze pan with Marsala wine.
  • Add beef stock and cook until thick and flavors are blended.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve over meat and pasta.

NOTE: When I substitute the chicken for pork, I use center cut pork loin chops.  I also substitute the Romano for Fontina cheese.