Sunday, August 30, 2009


My mother has talked about a Mexican chicken and rice recipe since I was born. Her twin sister would make it for her. Mother thinks it is the best thing she has ever put in her mouth. She is 92 and now does very little cooking. ( I am sure she never made this recipe, Aunt Jenny always made it for her. ) So she sent me the recipe this week.

My aunt wrote out the recipe in the early 1950's. The paper is fragile and the creases are tearing apart. It is a total meal: chicken and rice ring, soup and salad, and dessert. Nearly everything says make a day ahead. So you are committed to 2 days if you do this meal. It reads like a good meal. It also reads like a recipe from the 1940's.

For you young whipper snappers there are things like:

canned button mushroom. You couldn't buy fresh mushrooms in most stores then.

canned pineapple chunks nor would you find fresh pineapple at the average grocery.

Take a large roasting chicken and cook it slowly until tender. No weight, no oven temperature, no time. Or are we to cook it on top of the stove? Just slowly til done.

Thicken ( the broth ) with corn starch softened to consistency of thin cream. Again no amounts. Can you picture that one?

3/4 cup of top milk Probably if you are younger than 50 you won't know this one. Milk was not always homogenized and we shook it to mix in the cream. It was delivered daily in glass bottles and the milk would settle to the bottom. Cream rises to the top and that was top milk. Not as rich as whipping cream but rich.

My favorite one 2 1/2 cups long grained rice washed through 5 waters. . . Do you even know what that means, or why you are doing it? Rice did not always come in a nice Uncle Ben's box. It was in a bag and there was dirt, little pebbles and who knows what in there. And it was starchier. Making rice was trouble.

Marty and I are good cooks. And we are old enough this recipe doesn't scare us. We have lots of recipes worded like this from other older family members. We will make this recipe. It sounds delicious. My cousin says she has made it since her mother died and her family likes it.

If it isn't tedious and truly time consuming, we will make it for Mother. We will be back in Louisville next June. But it boils down to how much time we will have.

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