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Friday, June 8, 2012

The Picnic Luncheon: Meats!

Roast Beef. Chicken Pie. On a field expedient Cutting Board.
(Thanks to the reenactors for loaning me a crate.)
This post was written during the progress of making these dishes, and so the tenses and times of the various recipes and commentary may reflect a sort of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey approach. Please excuse that, and do not let it hamper your appreciation.
For the Victorian Day Picnic Luncheon I am making two meat items, chicken pie and roast beef. I've spent most of the afternoon shopping and preparing these two items, mostly the chicken pie.

I've been somewhat closely following a recipe from Buckeye Cookery for the chicken pie:
Cut up two young chickens, place in hot water enough to cover, boil until tender; line a four or five quart pan with a rich baking-powder or soda-biscuit dough quarter of an inch thick, put in part of chicken, season with salt, pepper and butter, lay in a few thin strips or squares of dough, add the rest of chicken and season as before; some add five or six fresh eggs or a few new potatoes in their season; season liquor in which the chickens were boiled with butter, salt, and pepper, add a part of it to the pie, cover with crust a quarter of an inch thick, with a hole in the center the size of a tea-cup. Keep adding the chicken-liquor and hot water if needed, since the fault of most chicken pies is that they are too dry. There can scarcely be too much gravy. Bake one hour in a moderate oven, having the heat turned to the bottom, as great care is necessary to have the bottom crust well baked.