Oops! I'm a day late! My husband was admitted to the hospital Saturday night and we just got home this morning so I wasn't able to post yesterday. I look forward to posting a recipe on Sunday, though, so I still want to share one with you. Hey, better late than never, right?
I have a love of old books and a bit of a collection. I love old cookbooks, too, and not just to display on a bookcase, but to read and learn. If you love recipes that use simple ingredients, these old cookbooks are the way to go because many people only had access to what they grew or canned.
Often, it's easier and less expensive to find recently published cookbooks of old recipes. The recipe I have for you today is from one such book, Confederate Era Recipes: A Collection of the Old South's Favorite Recipes by Pearlie B. Scott. This book was published in 2004, but Miss Scott took the time to collect recipes that had been handed down through the generations and compile them in this book. There are so many great recipes and I highly recommend this book.
I wanted to tell you where you could buy it, but I had trouble locating it for sale, except on ebay. Click here to see the ebay listing I found, which had 6 copies available for $3.25 each. I got mine at the local War Between the States Museum. I'm not sure if they ship, but they might. Their number is 843-669-1266 and they are open on Wednesdays and Saturdays only from 9 to 5 EST.
I chose this chicken stew recipe because I thought the ingredients would be easy to get fresh and local. And on a cool spring evening a pot of soup makes a great one dish meal. I have quoted the following exactly because I think it makes the recipe more interesting. If you do not raise your own chickens, you will laugh at the first few sentences of the directions because they are telling you to choose and clean your chicken! Anything in parentheses is my little word or two thrown in. Enjoy!
Southern Chicken Stew
4 LBS. STEWING CHICKEN
1/3 CUP ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1 TSP. SALT
1/3 CUP BUTTER
3 CUPS WATER
1 1/2 LB. TOMATOES, 4 MED.
2 LARGE ONIONS
2 1/4 TSP. SALT
1/4 TSP. PEPPER
1 LB. TENDER OKRA
1 TBSP. FLOUR
1/4 CUP WATER
Choose chicken for stewing. Singe. Clean and wash. Dredge with flour and 1 tsp salt mixed. Brown slowly in hot fat (this is your butter) in a large heavy skillet or dutch oven (I recommend cast iron if you have it). Add 3 cups water, cover and reduce heat. Simmer gently for 1 hour. Add peeled, sliced tomatoes, sliced, peeled onions and remaining salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until chicken is nearly tender enough to serve. Twenty minutes before chicken is to be served, add trimmed, sliced okra pods on top of stew and cook uncovered for remaining time. Add flour to the 1/4 cup cold water and blend until smooth; stirring gently into stew, stirring constantly and cook until stew thickens slightly(I love this part because this is how my Granny taught me to thicken soups!). Serve at once. 6 servings.
(I recommend serving over brown rice or quinoa.)
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