Enfield Shaker Chicken Cheese Recipe

Enfield Shaker Chicken Cheese
Enfield Shaker Chicken Cheese

2 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered
4 cups boiling water
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Boil the chicken in the water until tender. Remove the bones and the skins and chop the meat fine. Add butter to stock and reserve. Season to your taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Put into a mold. Pour in enough of the chicken liquor to make it moist. Chill well and let stand overnight. When cold (it will be jellied) turn out and slice. SERVES 6-8. Take to a picnic and slice just before serving.

Enfield Shaker Chicken Recipe


3 lb. chicken on the bone
1 medium onion
3 teaspoons salt
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon thyme
3 cups water
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Chicken Cheese Cooking in the Pot
Chicken Cheese Cooking

Place chicken, onion, 2 teaspoons salt, bay leaf, and thyme, and onion in a heavy sauté pan with a lid. Add room temperature water, cover, and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Turn off heat and let it sit, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Internal temperature should be 160° Fahrenheit. Add butter to the stock.

When cool, reserve 1 cup of the stock and remove bones and skin. Chop meat fine and add remaining salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Press into a mold. Soften the gelatin in 1 cup of the cooled stock. Pour over the chicken. Save the remaining stock for soup. Cover and chill overnight.

Unmold on a serving plate and garnish with parsley. This makes a nice appetizer or picnic dish.

Kitchen-Tester’s Note: Chicken Cheese – what a funny name! No cheese involved! Even with jacking up the seasonings we found this pretty bland. We recommend adding diced red pepper, capers, finely chopped fresh herbs, and celery for enhanced flavor and color. Must use the gelatin to firm up the molded chicken.

Editor’s Note: American cookbooks in the 19th century generally included a section on caring and cooking for invalids. A wide variety of dishes similar to Enfield Shaker Chicken Cheese were recommended, either because they were high protein or helped the patient gain weight–Egg Gruel, Oatmeal Mush, Tapioca Jelly, Mutton Broth, Barley Soup, Calves-Foot Jelly, and Beef Jelly. For example, see: The Boston Cookbook, by Mrs. D. A. Lincoln, published in 1887 and still available as a reprint from Dover Publications, Inc.

This recipe first appeared in The Best of Shaker Cooking, edited by Amy Bess Miller and Persis Fuller (New York: Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc. 1970), based on Shaker manuscript recipes, 19th century Shaker almanacs, and The Manifesto, the Shakers’ own publication. The Best of Shaker Cooking is still in print and available from Amazon or the Enfield Shaker Museum gift shop.