November 2, 2012

A hearty 1950s chicken recipe that's perfect for fall

For ages now - and I know exactly why (initially, years ago, I first started posting recipes here on that day of week) - I've almost only posted recipes (be they vintage or modern classics) on Wednesdays. A creature of habit, I didn't deviate from this pattern much, but it's been gnawing away at me lately that doing so is rather unnecessary, as there's no specific reason why recipes need to appear on Wednesday, and I rather like the sense of shaking things up that comes from posting them (at least sometimes) on other days of the week as well.

With that thought firmly planted in mind, I woke up on this nippy November morning and decided it was high time a recipe appear on Friday. And come to think of Friday makes a lot of sense as a day on which to chat about cooking, as it's always lovely to have a new recipe or two in the wings as we head into the weekend.

As I'd imagine many of you are up to your ears in candy and chocolate, today's recipe is not for a dessert or other sweet treat – fear not! Today the focus is on dinner (or a wonderfully filling lunch), and comes in the form of a thoroughly yummy looking vintage recipe from 1957 called Harvest Chicken.

While some parts of the world are already shaking hands with snow again, others are still beautifully immersed in the midst of harvest season (and certainly Thanksgiving later in the month is all about celebrating the wondrous bounty that autumn delivers), so before Old Man Winter comes a knocking again, I wanted to share this recipe with all of you.

Vintage 1957 Heinz recipe for Harvest Chicken, Chronically Vintage

{Don't you just adore the cute crooning chickens on this cold weather perfect 1950s recipe page for Harvest Chicken? Image via Charm and Poise on Flickr.}

Of course, you can make it any ol' time of the year that your heart desires, I just like the fact that it's a fifties dish with a seasonal name to it. The ingredients themselves aren't overly autumnal, but the sight of a stick-to-your ribs chicken dinner like this certainly is.

With Thanksgiving and Christmas rounding the bend once more (hard to believe, considering I can still see our jack-o-lantern from here, I know), you could just as easily make this crowd pleasing dish with turkey meat instead. Pork - such as lean pork loin - used here would also make for a lovely, stick-to-your ribs kind of supper. (And of course, you can swap out the shortening for butter, margarine or your favourite cooking oil, if you’d prefer.)

I like to serve saucy poultry recipes like this with a steaming side of rice - perhaps basmati or a wild mix, just depending on my mood - or some plain pasta (tossed with a little butter). Sometimes polenta, mashed or baked potatoes, or quinoa step in, too, or instead of rice or pasta. Alternatively, you can skip some carbs and just go to town on a big plate full of this chicken and vegetable mix, perhaps with some sautéed baby spinach or a salad of mixed greens and grapefruit to accompany it.

Aside from the chicken itself, this vintage dish is quite economical, which I just adore (I also love that it's gluten-free, without me having to ditch or change any ingredients), and is a breeze to toss together - making it especially well suited to the holiday season when money and time alike are both often very precious commodities.

Happy start of November, sweet friends, I hope the month ahead is a fantastic one for everybody - and am really looking forward to celebrating another fantastic tail end of the year with all of you!


  1. Hello dear Jessica,
    I am making this a quick stop for now because I have work to do, but I will be back later to read this happy post. Just wanted to thank you for all your delightful comments.

  2. I really, really like this recipe Jess-chicken is my preferred meat so I think I will have to try this out. Going to show my hubs since he is mr. picky pants heheeh Great post and Happy November!! xox

  3. I am going to try this. I love chicken soup. Your side suggestions sound tasty as well.

    I will tell you when I make it.

    :) Hope

  4. I could go for a nice home cooked meal...but cooked by someone other than me:)) I am looking forward to your holiday recipes:)

  5. Sounds like a great recipe!

  6. I love recipe posts! I'm totally up for this one! Saturday warming comfort food seems to me! Janine x

  7. I'm vegetarian, but I am still commenting! Love the use of shortening and ketchup - its certainly an authentically vintage recipe.

  8. our heating system has packed up so we could really do with some hearty, warming fare like this right now. thanks for sharing, this one's a keeper!