|Poultry in Jelly (Gelatin)|
Notice the chickens encased within the gelatin.
Chickens, Pigeons or Partridges in Savoury Jelly
|E.Smith, The Compleat Housewife, London, 1808|
|E. Raffald, The Experienced English Housekeeper, London, 1808|
|F. Nutt, The Imperial and Royal Cook, London, 1809|
|B. Clermont, The Professed Cook, London, 1812|
Poultry in Gelatin: Modern Recipe Adaptation
- 2 Cornish Game Hens
- 4 1-Ounce Boxes Knox Gelatin (each box contains eight .25 ounce packets)
- 4.5 Cups Cold Water
- 8 Cups Water
- 1/2 Cup White Wine Vinegar
- 2 Teaspoons Ground Mace (or nutmeg)
- 4 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Black Peppercorns, Whole
- Heat the oven to 375º F. While the oven is heating, prepare the hens for roasting by trussing them with string so that the legs do not splay open during the cooking process. Place the hens in a foil-lined roasting pan and cook for about one hour, or until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF. Remove from the oven and let rest until needed again in Step 4. While the hens are roasting, prepare the gelatin.
- In a very large bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and stir to dissolve. Let stand as you move to the next step.
- Heat the additional 8 cups of water, vinegar, mace, lemon juice, salt, and peppercorns to boiling and reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes. Drain this hot mixture through a cloth or a tight mesh colander to remove the residue from the spices and the peppercorns. Add this hot mixture directly to the gelatin in the cold water. Strain this mixture again, if necessary, to remove any residue.
- Pour about 1/3 of the warm gelatin into a large flat-bottomed pan or pot, large enough to be able to contain the hens and enough gelatin to completely cover the hens. Place this into the refrigerator to set, at least two hours or more depending on the shape of the pan or pot. Refrigerate the remaining gelatin.
- Heat the remaining gelatin until it is liquefied enough to pour. Pour the gelatin over the hens, covering them completely. Allow this to cool off for about 10 minutes and then cover and transfer to the refrigerator. This will need to refrigerate at least 24 hours to ensure the gelatin is completely set. Note: The chickens will want to float to the top, so after about 1-hour in the fridge before the gel sets completely, push the chickens down into the solidifying gel.
- When the gelatin is completely set, place it in a vat of hot water for just about 45-60 seconds to help melt the gelatin enough to allow it to be removed from the pan. Turn out onto a large platter. Note: This will be heavy so be very careful and ask someone to help you, if necessary.