Edith Maxwell writes the Quaker Midwife Mysteries and the Local Foods Mysteries, the Country Store Mysteries (as Maddie Day), and the Lauren Rousseau Mysteries (as Tace Baker), as well as award-winning short crime fiction. Her short story, “A Questionable Death,” is nominated for a 2016 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. The tale features the 1888 setting and characters from her Quaker Midwife Mysteries series, which debuts with Delivering the Truth on April 8.
A former childbirth educator, farmer, and technical writer, Maxwell is Vice-President of Sisters in Crime New England and Clerk of Amesbury Friends Meeting. She lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats, and blogs with the other Wicked Cozy Authors. You can find her on Facebook, twitter @edithmaxwell, Pinterest, and at her web site, edithmaxwell.com.
Take it away, Edith!
White Stew of Chicken, 1880
I’m so pleased to be back on Mystery Lovers Kitchen, and equally excited that my first Quaker Midwife Mystery releases April 8. Midwife Rose Carroll lives with her late sister’s children and their father in a modest home in 1888. Rose and her eldest niece, Faith, bear the burden of cooking the meals when Rose isn’t out delivering babies and Faith isn’t at her job in the textile mill down the street. I’m giving away a copy of Delivering the Truth to one commenter here.
This recipe is a hearty dish Rose and Faith might have prepared. It’s loosely adapted from a recipe taken from old Willimantic/Windham, CT newspapers that I found here: http://www.ctgenweb.org/county/cowindham/records/other/recipes1800s.htm\
White Stew of Chicken
Serves six or more.
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 large carrot (or 2 small), scraped and cut into one-inch pieces
2 potatoes, in one-inch cubes
1 tsp salt
1 whole habanero pepper (Edith’s addition)
2 sage leaves, chopped
1 chicken, plucked, cleaned, and cut up (reserve neck, back, and organ meat for soup later)
1 T butter
1 T flour
2 egg yolks
1T each finely chopped fresh parsley, thyme, and rosemary
Salt and pepper
In a large soup pot, simmer the vegetables, herbs, salt, and spices in a quart of water for two hours. Float the habanero on top.
Add oil to a skillet and sauté the chicken pieces on both sides until browned; add to soup pot (being careful not to lose the habanero). Deglaze the skillet with a bit of water and add to the stew pot. Stew for two hours steadily but don't let it boil too fast.
After two hours, remove the chicken and vegetables to a serving platter and keep warm. Discard the habanero.
Strain the sauce and return to the stew pot. Rub a tablespoon of butter and flour each smoothly together in a small bowl. Add the egg yolks and the parsley. Stir gradually in a cup of boiling water. Pour the egg mixture into the chicken sauce. Let it boil for five minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn't curdle. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Pour sauce over chicken and vegetables and serve hot.
Quaker midwife Rose Carroll experiences equal parts joy and tribulation while serving the mothers and newborns of her 1888 community. But when arson destroys many of the town’s carriage factories and murder tears apart the town, Rose is driven by a desire to keep her loved ones safe and seek justice for the victims. She begins asking questions of her clients and others in the community—including the famous Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Yet these questions lead Rose into danger, and it takes all of her strength and resourcefulness to bring the perpetrators to light.
To enter to win a copy of Delivering the Truth, tell me what spicy dishes you like! Remember to include your email (in cryptic form is fine) so I can contact you if you win!