Jellied Chicken, Anyone?


Okay, seriously – what was up with the fascination of suspending meat products (and anything else, basically) inside a clear gelatin prison? I swear, in all my cookbooks from the 50s and 60s there are numerous recipes as disgusting as this one with such odd ingredients as fruit and olives (mixed together), smoked fish, asparagus, hard boiled eggs, and even a very special Ham Mousse that my cookbook touts as “Perfect for the Holidays!”

This gem is from my 1964 Betty Crocker Cooking for Two Cookbook is creatively called Jellied Chicken. It’s basically flavorless Jell-O with chunks of fatty chicken, olives, celery, chicken broth and lemon juice. The recipe helpfully notes that veal, lamb or beef can be substituted for the chicken. So pretty much anything can be prepared in this hellacious manner. Just add Dwight’s stapler and it could be Jim’s contribution to the Dunder Mifflin Food Day.

As a side note: I asked my mother-in-law, who is 75, about this strange gelatin fascination and she couldn’t recall every having any of it. Was it a conspiracy from the Jell-O corporation to mandate these awful recipes be put in all the books as to feign popularity? Or is it just so disgusting that everyone from this era has blocked it out?

To me, Jell-O is really only good for one thing and one thing only – Jell-O Shots.

2 thoughts on “Jellied Chicken, Anyone?

  1. yeah, that’s pretty nasty….redolent of a nice slice o’head cheese fer sure. I think the deal with jello is that it was “space age” at the time,kinda like Tang. I read that soon after aluminum was discovered and began to become manufactured, some rich people put away their china and crystal and served their guests on “fine aluminum” tableware…

    Hey, hack me off a slab of that jellied chicken, ok? Just don’t put it in the microwave…..

  2. Mrs Beeton is big on aspic, too. My theory: it was posh Victorian cookery when you could only make jelly when you’d (vegetarians look away now) boiled enough calves’ feet. They they brought out instant packet aspic and everybody could create a galantine of whatever, decorated with piped stuff. The 60s version was a long way after that. But who misread the instructions and decided you could use jello??? (Love the radioactive peppers in the picture.)

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