By Kevin Williams
Wow, this is an amazing menu. An Old Order Mennonite woman sent me a menu, probably 10 years ago, from her catering business. This was a very conservative Mennonite women who dressed in traditional clothing and traveled by horse and buggy. Yet she also had a strong entrepreneurial streak (common among the Plain people) so she channeled her passion for cooking into her own home-based business. I don't think she has her catering business anymore, but I am trying to make contact with her to see. Meanwhile, I thought I'd share her menu. She would cater for large groups and it wasn't cheap. If you had a party of 10 people, catering a meal (2 meats, 2 veggies and dessert) would cost you $220 plus tax. She lowered the price per person if the group was larger (economies of scale), 21 people or more, for instance, would cost $18 a person. Not bad prices for what was probably an amazing spread.
These recipes - and she sent me a bunch - are directly from her catering menu.
- Chicken pieces of your choice
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups crushed cornflakes
- 2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 1 /2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Marinate chicken pieces in brine for chicken if you wish.
- Mix dry ingredients.
- Melt butter in a 9 X 13 pan.
- Dip Chicken in the butter, then coat with cornflake mixture.
- Turn pieces over to moisten crumbs.
- Bake at 350 for 1 1 /4 hours until done.
The recipe below is step one for the above chicken recipes. You can skip it the step or start soaking it in this brine a couple days before. She says "you'll be amazed at the flavor."
MARJORIE'S CHICKEN BRINE
2 quarts water
1 /2 cup salt
1 /2 cup sugar
Soak chicken pieces for about two hours in brine in refrigerator.Remove skinless pieces after 1 /2 hour.
Use for a more delicious, moist result before frying or baking chicken.