Read POULTRY, &c of The Virginia Housewife, free online book, by Mary Randolph, on

Chop a few sage leaves and two onions very fine, mix them with a good lump of butter, a tea-spoonful of pepper, and two of salt, put it in the goose, then split it, lay it down, and dust it with flour; when it is thoroughly hot, baste it with nice lard; if it be a large one, it will require an hour and a half, before a good clear fire; when it is enough, dredge and baste it, pull out the spit, and pour in a little boiling water.

To make sauce for A goose.

Pare, core and slice some apples; put them in a sauce pan, with as much water as will keep them from burning, set them over a very slow fire, keep them closely covered till reduced to a pulp, then put in a lump of butter, and sugar to your taste, beat them well, and send them to the table in a china bowl.

To boil ducks with onion sauce.

Scald and draw your ducks, put them in warm water for a few minutes, then take them out and put them in an earthen pot; pour over them a pint of boiling milk, and let them lie in it two or three hours; when you take them out, dredge them well with flour, and put them in a copper of cold water; put on the cover, let them boil slowly twenty minutes, then take them out, and smother them with onion sauce.

To make onion sauce.

Boil eight or ten large onions, change the water two or three times while they are boiling; when enough, chop them on a board to keep them a good colour, put them in a sauce pan with a quarter of a pound of butter and two spoonsful of thick cream; boil it a little, and pour it over the ducks.

To roast ducks.

When you have drawn the ducks, shred one onion and a few sage leaves, put them into the ducks with pepper and salt, spit and dust them with flour, and baste them with lard; if your fire be very hot, they will roast in twenty minutes; and the quicker they are roasted, the better they will taste. Just before you take them from the spit, dust them with flour and baste them. Get ready some gravy made of the gizzards and pinions, a large blade of mace, a few pepper corns, a spoonful of catsup, a tea-spoonful of lemon pickle; strain it and pour it on the ducks, and send onion sauce in a boat.

To boil A turkey with oyster sauce.

Grate a loaf of bread, chop a score or more of oysters fine, add nutmeg, pepper and salt to your taste, mix it up into a light forcemeat with a quarter of a pound of butter, a spoonful or two of cream, and three eggs; stuff the craw with it, and make the rest into balls and boil them; sew up the turkey, dredge it well with flour, put it in a kettle of cold water, cover it, and set it over the fire; as the scum begins to rise, take it off, let it boil very slowly for half an hour, then take off your kettle and keep it closely covered; if it be of a middle size, let it stand in the hot water half an hour, the steam being kept in, will stew it enough, make it rise, keep the skin whole, tender, and very white; when you dish it, pour on a little oyster sauce, lay the balls round, and serve it up with the rest of the sauce in a boat.

N.B. Set on the turkey in time, that it may stew as above; it is the best way to boil one to perfection. Put it over the fire to heat, just before you dish it up.

To make sauce for A turkey.

As you open the oysters, put a pint into a bowl, wash them out of their own liquor, and put them in another bowl; when the liquor has settled, pour it off into a sauce pan with a little white gravy, and a tea-spoonful of lemon pickle thicken it with flour and a good lump of butter; boil it three or four minutes, put in a spoonful of good cream, add the oysters, keep shaking them over the fire till they are quite hot, but don’t let them boil, for it will make them hard and appear small.

To roast A turkey.

Make the forcemeat thus: take the crumb of a loaf of bread, a quarter of a pound of beef suet shred fine, a little sausage meat or veal scraped and pounded very fine, nutmeg, pepper, and salt to your taste; mix it lightly with three eggs, stuff the craw with it, spit it, and lay it down a good distance from the fire, which should be clear and brisk; dust and baste it several times with cold lard; it makes the froth stronger than basting it with the hot out of the dripping pan, and makes the turkey rise better; when it is enough, froth it up as before, dish it, and pour on the same gravy as for the boiled turkey, or bread sauce; garnish with lemon and pickles, and serve it up; if it be of a middle size, it will require one hour and a quarter to roast.

To make sauce for A turkey.

Cut the crumb of a loaf of bread in thin slices, and put it in cold water with a few pepper corns, a little salt and onion then boil it till the bread is quite soft, beat it well, put in a quarter of a pound of butter, two spoonsful of thick cream, and put it in the dish with the turkey.

To boil fowls.

Dust the fowls well with flour, put them in a kettle of cold water, cover it close, set it on the fire; when the scum begins to rise, take it off, let them boil very slowly for twenty minutes, then take them off, cover them close, and the heat of the water will stew them enough in half an hour; it keeps the skin whole, and they will be both whiter and plumper than if they had boiled fast; when you take them up, drain them, and pour over them white sauce or melted butter.

To make white sauce for fowls.

Take a scrag of veal, the necks of fowls, or any bits of mutton or veal you have; put them in a sauce pan with a blade or two of mace, a few black pepper corns, one anchovy, a head of celery, a bunch of sweet herbs, a slice of the end of a lemon; put in a quart of water, cover it close, let it boil till it is reduced to half a pint, strain it, and thicken it with a quarter of a pound of butter mixed with flour, boil it five or six minutes, put in two spoonsful of pickled mushrooms, mix the yelks of two eggs with a tea cup full of good cream and a little nutmeg put it in the sauce, keep shaking it over the fire, but don’t let it boil.

Fricassee of small chickens.

Take off the legs and wings of four chickens, separate the breasts from the backs, cut off the necks and divide the backs across, clean the gizzards nicely, put them with the livers and other parts of the chicken, after being washed clean, into a sauce pan, add pepper, salt, and a little mace, cover them with water, and stew them till tender then take them out, thicken half a pint of the water with two table spoonsful of flour rubbed into four ounces of butter, add half a pint of new milk, boil all together a few minutes, then add a gill of white wine, stirring it in carefully that it may not curdle; put the chickens in, and continue to shake the pan until they are sufficiently hot, and serve them up.

To roast large fowls.

Take the fowls when they are ready dressed, put them down to a good fire, dredge and baste them well with lard; they will be near an hour in roasting; make a gravy of the necks and gizzards, strain it, put in a spoonful of brown flour; when you dish them, pour on the gravy, and serve them up with egg sauce in a boat.

To make egg sauce.

Boil four eggs for ten minutes, chop half the whites, put them with the yelks, and chop them both together, but not very fine; put them into a quarter of a pound of good melted butter, and put it in a boat.

To boil young chickens.

Put the chickens in scalding water; as soon as the feathers will slip off, take them out, or it will make the skin hard and break: when you have drawn them, lay them in skimmed milk for two hours, then truss and dust them well with flour, put them in cold water, cover them close, set them over a very slow fire, take off the scum, let them boil slowly for five or six minutes, take them off the fire, keep them closely covered in the water for half an hour, it will stew them enough; when you are going to dish them, set them over the fire to make them hot, drain them, and pour over white sauce made the same way as for the boiled fowls.

To roast young chickens.

When you kill young chickens, pluck them very carefully, truss and put them down to a good fire, dredge and baste them with lard; they will take a quarter of an hour in roasting; froth them up, lay them on the dish, pour butter and parsley on, and serve them up hot.

Fried chickens.

Cut them up as for the fricassee, dredge them well with flour, sprinkle them with salt, put them into a good quantity of boiling lard, and fry them a light brown; fry small pieces of mush and a quantity of parsley nicely picked, to be served in the dish with the chickens; take half a pint of rich milk, add to it a small bit of butter, with pepper, salt, and chopped parsley; stew it a little, and pour it over the chickens, and then garnish with the fried parsley.

To roast woodcocks or snipes.

Pluck, but do not draw them, put them on a small spit, dredge and baste them well with lard, toast a few slices of bread, put them on a clean plate, and set it under the birds while they are roasting; if the fire be good, they will take about ten minutes; when you take them from the spit, lay them upon the toasts on the dish, pour melted butter round them, and serve them up.

To roast wild ducks or teal.

When the ducks are ready dressed, put in them a small onion, pepper, salt, and a spoonful of red wine; if the fire be good, they will roast in twenty minutes; make gravy of the necks and gizzards, a spoonful of red wine, half an anchovy, a blade or two of mace, one onion, and a little cayenne pepper; boil it till it is wasted to half a pint, strain it through a hair sieve, and pour it on the ducks serve them up with onion sauce in a boat; garnish the dish with raspings of bread.

To boil pigeons.

Scald the pigeons, draw them, take the craw out, wash them in several waters, cut off the pinions, turn the legs under the wings, dredge them, and put them in soft cold water; boil them slowly a quarter of an hour, dish them up, pour over them good melted butter, lay round a little brocoli in bunches, and send butter and parsley in a boat.

To roast pigeons.

When you have dressed your pigeons as before, roll a good lump of butter in chopped parsley, with pepper and salt, put it in your pigeons, spit, dust and baste them; if the fire be good, they will roast in twenty minutes; when they are through, lay round them bunches of asparagus, with parsley and butter for sauce.

To roast partridges or any small birds.

Lard them with slips of bacon, put them on a skewer, tie it to the spit at both ends, dredge and baste them, let them roast ten minutes, take the grated crumb of half a loaf of bread, with a piece of butter, the size of a walnut, put it in a stew pan, and shake it over a gentle fire till it is of a light brown, lay it between your birds, and pour over them a little melted butter.

To broil rabbits.

When you have cased the rabbits, skewer them with their heads straight up, the fore-legs brought down, and the hind-legs straight; boil them three quarters of an hour at least, then smother them with onion sauce, made the same as for boiled ducks, and serve them up.

To roast rabbits.

When you have cased the rabbits, skewer their heads with their mouths upon their backs, stick their fore-legs into their ribs, skewer the hind-legs doubled, then make a pudding for them of the crumb of half a loaf of bread, a little parsley, sweet marjoram and thyme, all shred fine, nutmeg, salt and pepper to your taste, mix them up into a light stuffing, with a quarter of a pound of butter, a little good cream, and two eggs; put it into the body, and sew them up; dredge and baste them well with lard, roast them near an hour, serve them up with parsley and butter for sauce, chop the livers, and lay them in lumps round the edge of the dish.

To stew wild ducks.

Having prepared the fowls, rub the insides with salt, pepper, and a little powdered cloves; put a shallot or two with a lump of butter in the body of each, then lay them in a pan that will just hold them, putting butter under and over them, with vinegar and water, and add pepper, salt, lemon peel, and a bunch of sweet herbs; then cover the pan close, and let them stew till done pass the liquor through a sieve, pour it over the ducks, and serve them up hot, with a garnish of lemon sliced, and raspings of bread fried. The same way may teal, &c. be dressed.

To dress ducks with juice of oranges.

The ducks being singed, picked, and drawn, mince the livers with a little scraped bacon, some butter, green onions, sweet herbs and parsley, seasoned with salt, pepper, and mushrooms; these being all minced together, put them into the bodies of the ducks, and roast them, covered with slices of bacon, and wrapped up in paper; then put a little gravy, the juice of an orange, a few shallots minced, into a stew pan, and shake in a little pepper; when the ducks are roasted, take off the bacon, dish them, and pour your sauce with the juice of oranges over them, and serve them up hot.

To dress ducks with onions.

Stuff the ducks as before, cut the roots off small onions, blanch them in scalding water, then pick and put them into a stew pan with a little gravy, set them over a gentle fire, and let them simmer; when they are done, thicken them with cream and flour, and when the ducks are roasted, dish them, pour the ragout of onions over, and serve them up hot.

To roast A calf’s head.

Wash and pick the head very nicely; having taken out the brains and tongue, prepare a good quantity of forced meat, with veal and suet well seasoned; fill the hole of the head with this forced meat, skewer and tie it together upon the spit, and roast it for an hour and a half. Beat up the brains with a little sage and parsley shred fine, a little salt, and the yelks of two or three eggs; boil the tongue, peel, and cut it into large dice, fry that with the brains, also some of the forced meat made up into balls, and slices of bacon. Let the sauce be strong gravy, with oysters, mushrooms, capers, and a little white wine thickened.

To make A dish of curry after the East Indian manner.

Cut two chickens as for fricassee, wash them clean, and put them in a stew pan with as much water as will cover them; sprinkle them with a large spoonful of salt, and let them boil till tender, covered close all the time, and skim them well; when boiled enough, take up the chickens, and put the liquor of them into a pan, then put half a pound of fresh butter in the pan, and brown it a little; put into it two cloves of garlic, and a large onion sliced, and let these all fry till brown, often shaking the pan; then put in the chickens, and sprinkle over them two or three spoonsful of curry powder; then cover the pan close, and let the chickens do till brown, often shaking the pan; then put in the liquor the chickens were boiled in, and let all stew till tender; if acid is agreeable squeeze the juice of a lemon or orange in it.

Dish of rice to be served up with the curry, in A dish by itself.

Take half a pound of rice, wash it clean in salt and water then put it into two quarts of boiling water, and boil it briskly twenty minutes; strain it through a colander and shake it into a dish, but do not touch it with your fingers nor with a spoon.

Beef, veal, mutton, rabbits, fish, &c. may be curried and sent to table with or without the dish of rice.

Curry powder is used as a fine flavoured seasoning for fish, fowls, steaks, chops, veal cutlets, hashes, minces, alamodes, turtle soup, and in all rich dishes, gravies, sauce, &c. &c.

Ochra and tomatos.

Take an equal quantity of each, let the ochra be young, slice it, and skin the tomatos; put them into a pan without water, add a lump of butter, an onion chopped fine, some pepper and salt, and stew them one hour.

Gumbo A West India dish.

Gather young pods of ochra, wash them clean, and put them in a pan with a little water, salt and pepper, stew them till tender, and serve them with melted butter. They are very nutritious, and easy of digestion.

Pepper pot.

Boil two or three pounds of tripe, cut it in pieces, and put it on the fire with a knuckle of veal, and a sufficient quantity of water; part of a pod of pepper, a little spice, sweet herbs according to your taste, salt, and some dumplins; stew it till tender, and thicken the gravy with butter and flour.

Spanish method of dressing giblets.

Take the entrails of fat full grown fowls, empty them of their contents open them with a sharp knife, scrape off the inner coat; wash them clean, and put them on to boil with the liver, gizzard, and other giblets; add salt, pepper, and chopped onion when quite tender, set them by to cool; put some nice dripping or butter in a pan, when it boils put the giblets, add salt, fry them a nice brown; when nearly done, break six eggs in a bowl, beat them a little, pour them over the giblets, stir them for a few minutes, and serve them up.

Paste for meat dumplins.

Chop half a pound of suet very fine add one and a quarter pound of flour, and a little salt mix it up with half a pint of milk, knead it till it looks light; take a bowl of proper size, rub the inside with butter, roll out the paste and lay it in; parboil beef steaks, mutton-chops, or any kind of meat you like; season it and lay it in the bowl fill it with rich gravy, close the paste over the top get a very thick cloth that will keep out the water; wet and flour it, place it over the top of the bowl gather it at bottom and tie it very securely; the water must boil when you put it in when done, dip the top in cold water for a moment, that the cloth may not stick to the paste; untie and take it off carefully put a dish on the bowl and turn it over if properly made, it will come out without breaking; have gravy in a boat to eat with it.

To make an ollo A Spanish dish.

Take two pounds beef, one pound mutton, a chicken, or half a pullet, and a small piece of pork; put them into a pot with very little water, and set it on the fire at ten o’clock, to stew gently; you must sprinkle over it an onion chopped small, some pepper and salt, before you pour in the water; at half after twelve, put into the pot two or three apples or pears, peeled and cut in two, tomatos with the skin taken off, cimblins cut in pieces, a handful of mint chopped, lima beans, snaps, and any kind of vegetable you like; let them all stew together till three o’clock; some cellery tops cut small, and added at half after two, will improve it much.

Ropa veija Spanish.

Peel the skin from ripe tomatos, put them in a pan with a spoonful of melted butter, some pepper and salt, shred cold meat or fowl; put it in, and fry it sufficiently.

Chicken pudding, A favourite Virginia dish.

Beat ten eggs very light, add to them a quart of rich milk, with a quarter of a pound of butter melted, and some pepper and salt; stir in as much flour as will make a thin good batter; take four young chickens, and after cleaning them nicely, cut off the legs, wings, &c. put them all in a sauce pan, with some salt and water, and a bundle of thyme and parsley, boil them till nearly done, then take the chicken from the water and put it in the batter pour it in a dish, and bake it; send nice white gravy in a boat.

To make polenta.

Put a large spoonful of butter in a quart of water, wet your corn meal with cold water in a bowl, add some salt, and make it quite smooth, then put it in the buttered water when it is hot, let it boil, stirring it continually till done; as soon as you can handle it, make it into a ball, and let it stand till quite cold then cut it in thin slices, lay them in the bottom of a deep dish so as to cover it, put on it slices of cheese, and on that a few bits of butter; then mush, cheese and butter, until the dish is full; put on the top thin slices of cheese and butter, put the dish in a quick oven; twenty or thirty minutes will bake it.


Boil as much macaroni as will fill your dish, in milk and water, till quite tender; drain it on a sieve sprinkle a little salt over it, put a layer in your dish then cheese and butter as in the polenta, and bike it in the same manner.

Mock macaroni.

Break some crackers in small pieces, soak them in milk until they are soft; then use them as a substitute for macaroni.

To make croquets.

Take cold fowl or fresh meat of any kind, with slices of ham, fat and lean chop them together very fine, add half as much stale bread grated, salt, pepper, grated nutmeg, a tea-spoonful of made mustard, a table-spoonful of catsup, and a lump of butter; knead all well together till it resembles sausage meat, make them in cakes, dip them in the yelk of an egg beaten, cover them thickly with grated bread, and fry them a light brown.


Beat two or three fresh eggs quite light, make them into a stiff paste with flour, knead it well, and roll it out very thin, cut it in narrow strips, give them a twist, and dry them quickly on tin sheets. It is an excellent ingredient in most soups, particularly those that are thin. Noodles are made in the same manner, only instead of strips they should be cut in tiny squares and dried. They are also good in soups.

Common patties.

Take some veal, fat and lean, and some slices of boiled ham, chop them very fine, and season it with salt, pepper, grated nutmeg, and a small quantity of parsley and thyme minced very fine; with a little gravy make some paste, cover the bottoms of small moulds, fill them with the meat, put thin lids on, and bake them crisp; five is enough for a side dish.

Eggs in croquets.

Boil eighteen eggs, separate the yelks and whites, and cut them in dice; pour over them a sauce a-la-crème, (see sauce a-la-crème,) add a little grated bread, mix all well together, and let it get cold; put in some salt and pepper, make them into cakes, cover them well on both sides with grated bread, let them stand an hour, and fry them a nice brown; dry them a little before the fire, and dish them while quite hot.

Omelette souffle.

Break six eggs, beat the yelks and whites separately till very light, then mix them, add four table spoonsful of powdered sugar, and a little grated lemon peel; put a quarter of a pound of butter in a pan; when melted, pour in the eggs and stir them; when they have absorbed the butter, turn it on a plate previously buttered, sprinkle some powdered sugar, set it in a hot Dutch oven, and when a little brown, serve it up for a desert.


Put a pint of water, and a lump of butter the size of an egg, into a sauce pan; stir in as much flour as will make a thick batter, put it on the fire, and stir it continually till it will not stick to the pan; put it in a bowl, add three quarters of a pound of grated cheese, mix it well, then break in two eggs, beat them well, then two more until you put in six; when it looks very light, drop it in small lumps on buttered paper, bake it in a quick oven till of a delicate brown; you may use corn meal instead of flour for a change.

A nice twelve o’clock luncheon.

Cut some slices of bread tolerably thick, and toast them slightly; bone some anchovies, lay half of one on each toast, cover it well with grated cheese and chopped parsley mixed; pour a little melted butter on, and brown it with a salamander; it must be done on the dish you send it to table in.

Eggs A-la-creme.

Boil twelve eggs just hard enough to allow you to cut them in slices cut some crusts of bread very thin, put them in the bottom and round the sides of a moderately deep dish, place the eggs in, strewing each layer with the stale bread grated, and some pepper and salt.

Sauce A-la-creme, for the eggs.

Put a quarter of a pound of butter, with a large table-spoonful of flour rubbed well into it in a sauce pan; add some chopped parsley, a little onion, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a gill of cream; stir it over the fire until it begins to boil, then pour it over the eggs, cover the top with grated bread, set it in a Dutch oven with a heated top, and when a light brown, send it to table.

Cabbage A-la-creme.

Take two good heads of cabbage, cut out the stalks, boil it tender, with a little salt in the water have ready one large spoonful of butter, and a small one of flour rubbed into it, half a pint of milk, with pepper and salt; make it hot, put the cabbage in after pressing out the water, and stew it till quite tender.

To make an omelette.

Break six or eight eggs in a dish, beat them a little, add parsley and chives chopped small, with pepper and salt; mix all well together, put a piece of butter in a pan, let it melt over a clear fire till nearly brown; pour in the eggs, stir it in, and in a few minutes it will be done sufficiently; double it, and dish it quite hot.

Omelette another way.

Break six eggs, leave out half the whites beat them with a fork, and add some salt and chopped parsley; take four ounces of fresh butter, cut half of it in small pieces, put them in the omelette, put the other half in a small frying pan; when melted, pour in the eggs; stir till it begins to set, then turn it up round the edges; when done, put a plate on and turn the pan up, that it may not break the omelette must be thick, and great care must be taken in frying; instead of parsley, you may use any kind of sweet herb or onion chopped fine, anchovy minced, rasped beef, ham or tongue.


Put some soft biscuit or toasted bread in the bottom of a sallad bowl, put in a layer of sliced tomatos with the skin taken off, and one of sliced cucumbers, sprinkled with pepper, salt, and chopped onion; do this until the bowl is full; stew some tomatos quite soft, strain the juice, mix in some mustard, oil, and water, and pour over it; make it two hours before it is eaten.

Eggs and tomatos.

Peel the skins from a dozen large tomatos, put four ounces of butter in a frying pan, add some salt, pepper, and a little chopped onion; fry them a few minutes, add the tomatos, and chop them while frying; when nearly done, break in six eggs, stir them quickly, and serve them up.

To fricassee eggs.

Boil six eggs for five minutes, lay them in cold water, peel them carefully, dredge them lightly with flour, beat one egg light, dip the hard eggs in, roll them in bread crumbs, seasoned with pepper, salt, and grated nutmeg; cover them well with this, and let them stand some time to dry fry them in boiling lard, and serve them up with any kind of rich, well seasoned gravy, and garnish with crisped parsley.