Thomas Jefferson's writing talents continued into the kitchen where he wrote recipes, journals, and a cookbook.
He once wrote, "All my wishes end where I hope my days will end, at Monticello."
In 1819 Thomas Jefferson said, "I lived temperately, eating little animal food, and that as a condiment for the vegetables, which constitute my principal meal."
So earnest was Jefferson's passion for growing excellent foods in his home garden he searched foreign lands for seeds to plant. He kept detailed journals during his travels abroad of foods he ate so that he might have them recreated at his Monticello home.
In 1814 his prolific garden yielded 18 bushes of carrots. His cookbook contains a recipe called Carthusian in which blanched cabbage leaves are filled with boiled carrots and pigs tongues, and cooked for two hours.
The table was bountiful and bold when Jefferson played host at Monticello, and the White House (1801 to 1809). When Rev. Manasseh Cutler dined with Jefferson in 1802, a strange dish of noodles befuddled him. Reverend Cutler wrote: "Dined at the President's, a pie called macaroni which appeared to be a rich crust filled with the strillions of onions, or shallots, which tasted very strong, and not agreeable. Mr Meriwether Lewis told me there were none in it; it was an Italian dish, and what appeared to be onions was made of flour and butter and a particularly strong liquor mixed in. (Jefferson's recipe for macaroni, in fact, had no liquor in it.) Jefferson also served the first ice cream to his guests, who marveled at something cold enclosed in a covering of warm pastry.
Thomas Jeffersons favorite foods were simple foods. Corn on the cob, sweet potatoes and greens.
Thomas Jefferson's Chicken Fricassee
2-3 pounds chicken pieces
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
3 tblsp. all purpose flour
2 cups water
1 cup dry wine
3 tblsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
2 cups fresh small mushrooms
1 tblsp. chopped fresh sage
1 tblsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 cup half and half cream
Hot Cooked Rice
Wash and dry the chicken pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg and paprika.
Brown the chicken in hot oil over high heat in a Dutch oven; remove the chicken when well browned. Reduce heat to medium, add flour, and cook the flour until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Whisk in 2 cups of water, 1 cup of wine until smooth.
Return the chicken to the Dutch overn; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 50 minutes.
Remove chicken, keeping warm, reserve broth in large container. Broth may be strained to remove particles.
Melt butter in Dutch oven, over medium high heat, add onion, cook until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, sage and parsley. Add broth, and chicken. Cook over medium heat, stirring until thoroughly heated. Served over rice. Yields 6 servings.